Parents of teen drivers can play a crucial role in making their children safe drivers, the Governors Highway Safety Association says.
Millions of U.S. teens are learning to drive at an especially challenging time as risky and dangerous driving has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, the association noted.
“Teen drivers are more likely than any other age group to be involved in a fatal crash due to inexperience and maturity,” said Pam Shadel Fischer, a senior executive with the association.
“Parents have spent the last 19 months focused on their children’s health and safety during the pandemic. That attention to safety can easily extend to driving – and the best way to do that is for parents and teens to work together to ensure young drivers build the skills necessary to keep themselves and everyone else on the road safe,” Fischer said in an association news release.
The safety experts outlined three major ways that parents can make their teens better drivers:
Know and enforce your state’s graduated driver licensing laws. These laws phase in driving privileges as teens gain more experience. Research proves these laws reduce traffic deaths involving teen drivers.
Schedule regular driving practice sessions with your teen. And keep it up, even after they’re licensed to drive without supervision. Teens whose parents actively monitor their driving are less likely to be in a crash and to engage in risky behaviors such as speeding, driving impaired or distracted, and not buckling up, according to the highway safety experts.
Work with your teen to print out the family’s rules of the road. Create and enforce a parent-teen driving agreement that clearly states the rules, and the consequences for violating them. Posting it where everyone will see it, such as on the refrigerator or adjacent to the car keys, will help reinforce its importance.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has more on teen driving.
SOURCE: Governors Highway Safety Association, news release, Oct. 14, 2021