Parents Really Can Help Prevent Teen Driving Accidents
As a parent, you may feel as if your kids don't listen to you very often, especially when they are in their teens. This can be cause for major concern when it comes to setting rules for teen driving.
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for young people. In fact, the CDC indicates as many as seven teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 died each day in car wrecks. Our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys know that as a parent you want to do everything possible to prevent this type of tragedy from occurring. Fortunately, the good news is that when it comes to teen driving, there is a good chance your kids will listen to you if you make safety a priority.
Parents Can Help Prevent Teen Driving Accidents
The Governors Highway Safety Association recently took a look at the impact that parents have on teen driving behavior. The GHSA's findings were published in "Promoting Parent Involvement in Teen Driving: An In-Depth Look at the Importance and the Initiatives."
According to the GHSA:
- Parents seen as "authoritative" by their kids on the subject of teen driving can have a major impact on how teens behave behind the wheel.
- Kids with authoritative parents drove drunk 70 percent less often than kids without authoritative parents.
- Kids with authoritative parents texted or used their cell phones 30 percent less often behind the wheel than kids without parents seen as authoritative.
- Kids with authoritative parents wore their seat belt 50 percent more than kids without authoritative parents.
- Kids were authoritative parents got into car crashes half as often as those who had parents who were uninvolved or not seen as authoritative.
Clearly, when it comes to driving, being seen as an authority figure is a good thing. Your kids need to know that you take driving issues very seriously and the more clearly you set rules, guidelines and boundaries, the more likely it is that your kids will follow them. You can even consider a driving contract such as the Parent-Teen Agreement from the Allstate Foundation. The agreement is a contract that you put forth to your child that outlines what is permissible and forbidden while driving. When your child signs, this helps to make clear that he knows what his obligations are and what the consequences will be if he makes unsafe driving choices.
Modeling Good Behavior and Stressing the Risks of Bad Choices
Authoritative parents should not just talk to their kids about how to drive safely but should model good behavior themselves as well. A parent who leads by example and who makes smart choices behind the wheel is more likely to have a child who also practices good driving behavior.
Kids also need to understand the very real consequences that can go along with bad choices. For example, driving while intoxicated; driving while drowsy; driving under the influence of drugs; driving without paying attention or with too many friends in the car; and breaking any of the rules of the road including the speed limit can have a devastating outcome if the teen driver gets into a crash and hurts himself or others.
If you've been hurt in a car accident, contact West Palm Beach injury attorney David J. Glatthorn at 800-990-9394.