Be a Model Driver: 8 Tips for Parents of Teens in the Driver Seat

Teen drivers are three times likelier to be in a fatal crash than older drivers.

Driver inexperience is the number one cause of teen crashes. This is true no matter how well a teen drives, how well they do in school, or how responsible they are. So, it’s important to make sure teens get as much experience as possible, in all sorts of conditions, before they drive on their own.

But inexperience isn’t the only factor in crashes. A recent report shared on the Teens in the Driver Seat website shows that two-thirds of teens mirrored parents’ distracted driving habits.

Teens report that many times they text behind the wheel because parents expect them to answer back quickly. Parents, if your teen may be driving, be patient with their response time.

As a parent of a teen driver, here are some steps and recommendations you can take to help prevent car crashes.

  • Be the driver you want your teen to be.
  • Make sure everyone in your family abides by the zero tolerance for cell phone use while driving.
  • Know that each passenger, including siblings, in a teen’s car increases the likelihood of a crash.
  • Don’t push a teen who, for whatever reason, is not ready to drive safely.
  • Demand full seat belt compliance by every driver and every passenger.
  • Be prepared to support your teen as they gain experience and learn to make mature decisions behind the wheel.
  • Allow your teen as much driving practice as possible, with you present.
  • When you are driving with your teen in the car, talk through what you are doing and why, such as checking the mirrors, steps to changing lanes, looking around before accelerating at a green light, etc.

Source: Teens in the Driver Seat campaign