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While we as parents face the same risks each time we drive, we have experience where they do not. Our experience has taught us how to recognize and avoid these risks.
Trusted pediatricians feel very strongly about teen driver safety. Dr. Alison Tothy, MD, FAAP, Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital, offers ways you can help keep your teen driver safe in this video.
Experts advise taking the following actions to help keep your teen safe behind the wheel:
Practice with new drivers: Sit beside them as they drive and schedule 30 minutes of practice time each week—before and after they get their license—to check in and see how they are doing.
Set a good example: Drive the way you want your teen to drive. Your sons and daughters have learned from you all their lives. They don’t stop learning now that they have their license.
Sign the New Driver Deal: The New Driver Deal is a written agreement which helps define expectations – for parents and teens.
Let teens earn privileges: The best way teens can show they are ready for new privileges is to show they can handle the ones they have been already given.
Parents should discuss their feelings about teen driver safety with each other: It can be tough enforcing rules with your teen when the parents of their friends don’t follow suit. It also can be dangerous for your teen to be a passenger in a car driven by a teen given too many driving privileges too soon. Make sure you know where other parents stand on teen driver safety and tell other parents about your feelings.
DriveitHOME™ is an initiative of the National Safety Council, designed by and for parents of newly licensed teen drivers. DriveitHOME™ offers free resources parents can use to help their teen build experience to become safer drivers.