Tips to Keep Teen Drivers Safe
Motor vehicle crashes remain the No. 1 cause of death for teen drivers. Adolescents (ages 16 to 19) are involved in fatal accidents at four times the rate of adult drivers (ages 25 to 69).
Many teen driver-related injuries and deaths are preventable. In the National Teen Driver Survey, 5,665 students shared their views on teen driving. Evidence from this survey supports the essential role parents play in raising safe teen drivers.
What Parents can do to help teen drivers
According to the research, teens who say their parents set rules and pay attention to their activities in a helpful, supportive way are half as likely to be in a crash. Here are some tips from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:
- Set clear rules, boundaries, and expectations. Rather than stating, “You’ll do as I say,” explain your reasoning.
- It’s about safety, not control. Make sure your kids understand rules that are in place for their safety, not to control them. As their skills develop and they become more responsible, they introduce new privileges.
- Be responsive. Listen to the concerns they have and, when appropriate, modify expectations to fit circumstances.
- Recognize their need to become independent. Reward responsible behavior with greater privileges.
- Let them know they can count on you for help and support. How a parent shows support may be different from family to family, but it’s crucial teens realize they can rely on you.
- Pay attention. To help teens make the right safety decisions, keep the lines of communication open. Know where they are going and why, and discuss how they will get there and when they will be home. Provide alternatives to allow them to avoid unsafe driving situations.
- Lead by example. Follow the rules of the road. Always wear a seatbelt. Don’t talk on a cell phone while driving. Don’t speed.
Taking a closer look at driving through the eyes of teens reveals parents do matter. Talk with an insurance professional about safety programs that help teen drivers become safer drivers while saving their parent’s money.
Michigan teen support links
These are two sites that can help with your teens drive education and provide more guidance if needed.