Parents’ Impact on the Behavior of Driving Teens

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If you’ve visited our “Stop the Roadway Carnage” blog you will see that there is no shortage of news stories about teenagers involved in car crashes.  I recently came across a blog about the parents’ role in teen driving.   We often receive calls from parents that have teens that recently received their license and have been in a collision within the first weeks of driving and the parents are looking for a “fix” to the problem.  Honestly, there isn’t a quick-fix to this problem.  If parents do not take the time and in most cases spend the money at the onset of this process, then it is difficult to change poor driving behavior.

The national statistic for newly licensed teenagers getting into a collision during the first year, is > 50%.  If all of them were actually reported the percentage would likely be around the 70% range.  So, you might ask, “what do we do about this?”  Parents play a MAJOR role in changing this trend.

Tip #3:  Develop a contract with your teenager before they receive their license.  Make sure the rules of the house are clearly stated and that they understand that receiving their license is a privilege and not a rite of passage.

  • The cell phone MUST BE OFF while driving
  • No drugs and alcohol while driving
  • Must stay within the posted speed limit
  • No passengers in their vehicle for at least six months after receiving their license
  • Grades must be at a certain level to maintain the privilege of driving
  • Eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel

These are just some of the major items parents need to address with their teenagers.  If the parents are nonchalant about driving, teens will follow suit.  Parents are the first line of defense in instilling a sense of responsibility when it comes to driving.  If parents are exhibiting poor behavior behind the wheel, it is very likely that their children will do the same.  If you are going to make rules in your household then be prepared to follow-through on the consequences.  If you are a parent that makes idle threats and doesn’t follow through, then the rules mean nothing.

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