Philadelphia Children’s Hospital released results to two recent studies that showed teens who communicate with their parents about their driving are involved in less accidents.
The studies are based on the nationally-representative National Young Driver Survey of more than 5,500 teenagers. The first study shows that teens who said their parents set clear rules, paid attention to where they were going and whom they were with, and did so in a supportive way were:
- half as likely to crash
- twice as likely to wear seat belts
- 71 percent less likely to drive while intoxicated
- 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone while driving
These findings are compared to teens who said their parents were less involved.
A second study found that teens who reported being the main driver of a vehicle were twice as likely to be involved in a crash, compared with teens who said they shared a vehicle with other family members. Nearly 75 percent of the teens surveyed reported being the main driver of a car.
“Once they’re behind the wheel, teens have ultimate responsibility for their behavior” says Kenneth Ginsburg, MD, MSEd, co-author of the study. “But kids who said their parents set rules in a supportive way were half as likely to crash compared with teens who saw their parents as less involved.”
According to the researchers, there are specific things parents can do to keep teens safer around driving: set clear rules about driving; talk with kids about where they’re going and who they’re with; and make sure teens know the rules are in place because you care about them and their safety – not because you wish to control them. This approach may make it more likely they will tell you what is going on in their lives, helping you better follow through on the rules you set.”
The key here is to talk to your kids, know where they are going and who is riding in their car. Also, it appears that practicing safe driving tactics with you children in the car (like wearing your seatbelt and avoiding your cell phone) will positively influence your children by the time they can drive.
To read the entire article about the studies, which was released by State Farm, click here.