Parents are the key to prevent teen driving crashes



I have twin seven-year old boys and though I look forward to the day when they leave the nest, I also dread the coming of puberty and the potential problems that come with it. Alcohol, drugs and smoking are just a few of the possible pitfalls that await them. As parents, we do our best to steer our kids clear of these dangers. Yet, risky and dangerous behaviours among teens are as common as ever.

But the situation is not as hopeless as it may seem. Studies that shown that teenagers generally would listen to what their parents have to say. Thus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling to all parents to talk to their adolescents about driving safety, with the firm belief that parents “play a key role in preventing teen crashes, injuries and deaths.”

Here some statistics from the CDC about teen crashes:

Here is a recommendation from Dr. Arlene Greenspan of the CDC:

Talk with your teen about the dangers of driving, and keep the conversation going over time. In addition, supervise your teen’s driving as often as possible.”

She suggests at least 30 to 50 hours of supervised practice driving over a minimum of six months and this should include different roads and road conditions and times of the day.

In addition, CDC recently launched the campaign “Parents Are the Key” with the following recommendations to help reduce the risk for teenage crashes:

I have one more tip to add: set a good example.

From the backseat, your kids are observing how you drive. By setting a good example and explaining to them the safety issues as they happen, I believe we can convey to our kids early on the principles of early driving. Here’s some of the conversation I have with my kids while driving:

“I can only drive 50 kph here. See that sign over there?”

“I have to drive slowly and carefully today. It’s foggy/snowy/raining and I can’t see as clearly.”

“See what that guy did? He turned without signaling. That’s very dangerous.”

And finally, do not drive while intoxicated! Show your kids the right and safe way.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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