Getting a driver’s license is a highlight for most teenagers. However, inexperience and poor driving habits puts them at high risk for getting into car accidents. There are numerous strategies to improve safe driving among this age group, and parents can play a big role.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, around six teenagers every day lose their lives due to motor vehicle accidents. The fact they are new to driving and do not have a lot of experience in different driving conditions is a big factor in many crashes. The chances of an accident increase when there is another teenager in the car.
Parents can, and should, play a big role in reducing accident risk in teens, and this can occur in different ways. One is to ride in the car with them and guide them through driving in different conditions, such as at nighttime, on busy highways and in inclement weather. Parents should also outline driving rules and have consequences if the teenager breaks them.
According to the National Parent Teacher Association, parents should play a role in preventing texting and driving. Using the phone while driving is distracting, and it is a particular problem for drivers under the age of 20.
Parents can start by discussing the importance of hands-free driving, but the most effective way to curb this activity is by setting a good example. The majority of parents, and dads especially, take part in distracting behaviors while driving, and this sends a message to teens that it is ok. Parents should also be aware when their teens are driving and make an effort not to call or text unless absolutely necessary.