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Teen Drivers And The Importance Of Rules

Craig McClellan

National Teen Driver Safety Week is an excellent time to let parents know how important they are in shaping the driving behaviors of their children. The fear of a serious car crash is a reality for many parents of teen drivers. The good news is that parents have more power than they may realize in keeping their young drivers safe on the roads. Parents need to use that power by staying actively involved. A recent study demonstrated the impact that a clearly defined and enforced set of rules can have on new drivers.

No less an authority than the Governors Highway Safety Association called parental involvement the key factor in keeping teen drivers safe. The GHSA cited a slew of statistics in support of this idea. Parents who set driving rules and monitor their teens driving behavior in a supportive way cut the chances of an accident in half. Their teens are less likely to speed, more likely to wear seatbelts, less likely to use a cell phone while driving, and much less likely to drive drunk.

The GHSA identified several areas where a lack of skill or judgment is likely to lead to accidents among teen drivers. Young drivers make frequent mistakes in driving at an appropriate speed for road conditions. They are also more likely to become distracted while driving or miss a hazard leading to a crash. Teen driving may be strongly affected by things older drivers take for granted. The presence of other teens in the car is a well-known contributor to dangerous driving.

Safe driving requires concentration, skill and knowledge. Most teens simply lack the experience necessary to be great drivers. Even a responsible teen can cause an accident. Parents need to stay involved to help their teen drivers stay safe.