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Raising a Responsible Adolescent

Road Rules for Teens

On Becoming Teenwise

Parenting 911

by Katrina Hayday Wester

In a recent survey conducted by the Chrysler Group, a division of DaimlerChrysler AG, the automaker stated that six out of ten parents (59%) say the number one health and safety risk facing their teenager is driving safety, and seven out of ten parents (68%) believed that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. Do you agree with these numbers?

What can parents do to prevent their child from being a statistic? Here are some suggestions.

  • Limit the number of unsupervised driving hours.
  • Prohibit night-time driving unless it’s a necessity.
  • Limit the number of passengers.
  • Insist on the use of seat belts.
  • Enroll them in driver’s education courses.
  • Set a good example with your own driving – i.e. don’t use your cell phone while you’re driving, don’t apply makeup, drink coffee, etc.
  • If the minimum age in your state is low, consider raising it for your children.
  • Ask questions and understand what your child is doing while in the car.
  • Prohibit additional items such as kickers or additional stereo speakers.
  • Track their usage carefully.
  • Discuss the dangers of speeding, drag racing, etc.
  • Respect and enforce a no-questions asked rule if your child calls to be picked up rather than drive themselves home.

If one of these steps helps save your child’s life, wasn’t it worth it?

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