Beyond Driver's Education: Additional Programs Teach Teen Driver Safety

Sign your teen up for driver safety classes beyond basic driver education.

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Once your teen gets their learner's permit, it's up to you to help them practice safe driving. But, if you're like many parents, there's a good chance you aren't quite sure how to best teach your child to be safe behind the wheel.

Despite driver education programs, and graduated license requirements, car crashes continue to be the number one cause of death in teenagers.

Driver inexperience is a main factor for fatal crashes involving teenagers (including not wearing a seatbelt as well as reckless and impaired driving), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The good news is there are steps you can take to increase your teen's driving skills beyond what they learned in basic driver's education classes. Enroll your teen in additional training classes and you can reduce your teen’s risk of getting into a car accident.

Here are several programs that could help your teen become a better driver:

UPS Road Code

In 2009, UPS and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America teamed up to establish the UPS Road Code. The program, which is taught by UPS employees who are trained as volunteer driving instructors, provides teens with much of the same protocol required by UPS drivers, who are known for their safe driving techniques.

Teens who attend the program receive a combination of classroom instruction and opportunities to use a virtual driving simulator. The program focuses on safety principles, from basic driving techniques to the consequences of distracted driving. Teens are able to see first-hand what happens when they are distracted by smartphones or friends in the car.

The UPS Road Code is available at select Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the country. Free community events are also offered nationwide to give teens an opportunity to use the driving simulator. Participants also have an opportunity to sign a petition that pledges to make the roads safe by avoiding distractions while driving.

Alive at 25

Alive at 25 is a 4 ½ hour driver’s awareness course designed by the National Safety Council for drivers between the ages of 15 and 24. The program teaches defensive driving techniques, decision-making skills, and responsibility-taking.

The program uses workbooks, classroom instruction, discussions, and role playing to help teens gain awareness about the importance of staying safe while driving. 

Alive at 25 helps teens understand the risks and potential consequences of risky behavior. The class is taught by various professionals, such as driver education instructors and off-duty law enforcement officers and is offered in many areas throughout the country.


The B.R.A.K.E.S program, which stands for Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe, was started by NHRA drag racing star Doug Herbert who lost his two young sons in a highway accident in 2008. The tragedy inspired him to prevent other families from experiencing similar heartache and he started a program to teach inexperienced drivers to be more conscientious behind the wheel.

The program teaches practical skills, such as how to brake in an emergency and how to regain control in icy or wet road conditions. It is held in select communities throughout the United States for teens between the ages of 15 and 19 (except for North Carolina, where it's 16 to 20). Teens must also already have their learner's permit or driver's license and at least 30 hours of driving experience. It’s a 4-hour course that could make some teens eligible for reduced insurance rates, which vary from state to state and depend on an individual's insurance policy.


teenSmart is an at-home program that teaches driver safety through computer software, workbooks, and DVDs. The program offers simulations focusing on the six factors that cause the majority of all teen collisions by teaching skills and education about the importance of visual search, hazard detection, speed adjustment, space management, risk perception, and lifestyle issues.

Without even leaving the comfort of your home, your teen can use computer-based driving tutorials to practice specific driving and crash-avoidance skills. There are also parent-teen activities that include in-car exercises for teens to practice under parental supervision. Teens who successfully complete the program may be eligible for discounts on their car insurance.

Locating Resources for Your Teen

To find a class or program near you, ask your insurance company, local Boys &Girls Club, or the high school guidance counselor for information. Signing up your teen for additional training could reduce their risk of getting into an accident. 

Many local communities offer defensive driving programs specifically targeted for teens. Many of these programs may provide specific training and skills beyond those taught in standard driver’s education courses.

Most vehicle insurance companies offer teen driving safety programs as well. Contact your insurance company to inquire about programs that may be available for teen drivers.

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teen Drivers: Get the Facts.

  2. Scott-Parker B, Goode N, Salmon P. The Driver, the Road, the Rules … and the Rest? A Systems-based Approach to Young Driver Road SafetyAccid Anal Prev. 2015;74:297-305. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2014.01.027

Additional Reading

By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, an international bestselling author of books on mental strength and host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. She delivered one of the most popular TEDx talks of all time.