Car accidents occur among all age groups, but teenage drivers are especially risky drivers. The main reasons for this include distractions and inexperience. Parents can, and should, play a major role when it comes to helping their teenager drive safe.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is important that parents set limits and expectations when it comes to their teenager’s driving privileges. The CDC recommends drafting a parent-teen driving agreement and discussing the rules and consequences for breaking them. Parents and teens can make a list together, but some examples include:
- No distracted driving
- Obeying all rules of the road
- No drinking and driving
- No driving after a certain time at night
- Limiting the number of teenage passengers
- Outlining cost contributions to gas, insurance, maintenance etc.
The National Parent Teacher Association discusses the parents’ role in avoiding texting while driving. There are many distractive driving behaviors, such as eating, playing with the radio, talking with friends and reaching for a dropped item, but texting is the most prevalent among teenage drivers.
One way parents can help prevent this behavior is to have discussions around the dangers of texting while behind the wheel. However, the best way parents can play a role is by setting good examples. Dads, especially, are to blame for displaying distracting driving behaviors.
Parents can help even when not in the car with the teenager. Do not call or text when the teenager is driving, and always ask before continuing the conversation. If calling is necessary, avoid emotional conversations and keep the call as short as possible.