This week, October 20-26, marks National Teen Driver Safety Week.
While there are so many difficult conversations that parents have with their teens during these years, having honest discussions about driving and setting ground rules are really important. Research from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) underscores the importance of these conversations and the impact that parents have on their children’s lives.
The National Young Driver Survey (NYDS) surveyed over 5,600 teens from across the country about their driving perceptions and behaviors. The study found that the majority (87 percent) have a parent involved in teaching them to drive, and 4 in 10 teens report only having parents teach them to drive.
According to CHOP, involved parents who set rules and monitor their teens’ driving behavior in a supportive way can lower their teens’ crash risk by half. The research also found that teens who perceive their parents as acting in this way are:
- twice as likely to wear seat belts
- 70 percent less likely to drink and drive
- half as likely to speed
- 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone while driving
- significantly less likely to drive with multiple passengers
This is good news for parents. As scary as a teenage driver may be, playing an active role when they are developing their driving habits is key for parents. Parents really matter – even if your teen does everything in their power to make you think otherwise.