Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for teens in America today. Every year, nearly 6,000 teens are killed and about 300,000 are injured in crashes.
When parents play an active role in helping their teens learn to drive and set driving guidelines, they can help reduce their teens’ chances of being involved in a crash. And, believe it or not, in a recent survey by The Allstate Foundation, teens said their parents have the strongest influence on their driving behavior. So it’s vital for parents to take the lead in this rite of passage for their teens.
Decide if your teen is ready
Not all teens should drive solo when the law says they can. Some characteristics to look for when determining if your teen is ready for a license:
Understand your state’s laws
Every state has Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws that restrict newly-licensed teens from driving in high-risk times and situations until they gain valuable on-the-road experience. Familiarize yourself and your teen with the laws in your state.
Establish your family’s rules
Be sure to encourage other parents in your community to set appropriate rules for their teens so you can present a united front.
Continue to discuss the risks and responsibilities of driving with your teen even after he or she gets a license. Be sure to encourage your teen to speak up and discourage risky behaviors—both as a driver and a passenger.
For more information about ways to help teen drivers come home safely, visit The Allstate Foundation’s teen driving resource center, where you’ll find lots of information to download and other information to share.