ASK GARY: How can I help teen drivers be safe?
A recent study by AAA reveals what many parents already know: Teens driving in vehicles with their friends continues to be far riskier than driving alone or with an adult. Check out the below article in Boston.com to read more details and see my response below on we can help our teens drive more safely.
Teen passengers spell danger for novice drivers
This article brings to light very sobering statistics on behalf of teen drivers, including that summer is the deadliest time of year for teen drivers and their passengers. Graduation and prom season is a time of year when teen driving issues become particularly concerning. As the CEO of an auto dealership, I’d like to suggest a couple of ways we (parents) can help:
Be a strong role model – Our actions truly speak louder than words. Teens will model our driving habits and what we do when we drive. Expecting them to do as we say, not as we do, just doesn’t work.
Set rules and enforce them – Clearly communicate and enforce your expectations for safe driving, including: wearing seat belts, no texting or cell phone use, etc. Establish curfews and make it very clear that they cannot drive while impaired or get in a car with anyone who is. They should understand that driving is a privilege they earn when they demonstrate responsibility.
Drive defensively – be aware of your surroundings and be alert to others driving around you.
More information on teen driving statistics and how to promote safe driving can be found at the NHTSA website: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Teen-Drivers. Together, let’s save lives and work together to keep our teens safe and sound.