Parent & Teen Driver Fact Sheet
Parents play a key role when it comes to keeping their teen safe on the road!
Why do teens crash?
Teens don’t get into a crash because they don’t know the basic rules of the road. Rather it is because of their inexperience, immaturity and driving in high-risk situations. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Nebraska teens.
What can parents do?
• Be involved with your teen driver.
Involved parents who set rules and monitor their teen’s driving behavior in a supportive way can lower their teen’s crash risk by half. Setting rules can be done through parent-teen driving agreements. These agreements help set clear driving guidelines/rules and allow for adjustments in driving privileges based on a teen’s driving experience, judgment and overall safe driving.
• Be a good role model.
Drive the way you would want your teen to drive. Buckle up, don’t use a cell phone while driving and obey traffic laws.
• Learn about the Nebraska Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws.
GDL laws work in reducing teen driver crashes because they keep teens out of high-risk driving situations such as nighttime driving, driving distracted (cell phones and teen passengers), drinking and driving as well as requiring the use of a seat belt. Utilize these laws to protect your teen driver.
• Practice driving.
Teen drivers need many hours of driving practice and need to gain driving experience on various roadway types and in different environments. Continue to drive with your teen even after they get their license as that should not be the only indicator that they have developed all the driving skills they need. It takes years to become an expert at something and driving is no different.
• Limit primary access to a vehicle.
Teens who are the main driver of a vehicle are more than twice as likely to report to having been in a crash as teens who share a car. If you choose to provide your teen with his or her own car, buy one with safety in mind. Go to www.iihs.org/ratings for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety vehicle safety ratings.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the U.S. In fact, almost half of the teen drivers involved in a crash die. Yet, a recent survey show that only 25 percent of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the key components of driving. You are the parent, they are the children, and they still have a lot of learn. You can teach them and you may just help save their lives. Even if you think they don’t hear you, they do. Remember, the “5 to Drive” – Set the Rules Before They Hit the Road.
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