As teenagers are excited to get behind the wheel of a car and drive, parents may be filled with mixed emotions. Parents are generally fearful of their son or daughter driving because they may know the teen driving statistics. However, if parents make commitments to work closely with their teenage drivers and set good examples by modeling the right driving behaviors, then their teenage son or daughter may be able to avoid becoming a statistic.

Parents can contribute to their teens’ safety by taking these 5 steps:

  1. Require the use of seat belts – Let children know that they have to buckle up every time they ride or drive in a vehicle. Seat belts are known to save lives and are the greatest safety device in a car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that when people wear seat belts, it reduces the risk of injuries by approximately 50%.
  2. Prohibit cell phones while in the car – Teenagers text a lot, and when teen drivers use the cell phone to talk or to text while driving, it can be a huge distraction. NHTSA indicates that teen drivers use cell phones behind the wheel more than other age group. Parents need to set a good example, and follow through with banning cell phone use while driving.
  3. Set passengers limits – For every passenger that is traveling in a teen’s car, their crash risk increases by 48% says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Parents need to set passenger restrictions for the safety of their teens.
  4. Set nighttime driving restrictions – The National Safety Council recommends that teenagers not drive unsupervised past 10 p.m., as the statistics for fatal car accidents in Florida and throughout the nation increase at night.
  5. Make sure there is NO Alcohol – Teenage drinking and driving is a huge problem. According to NHTSA, one-third of teenage drivers age 15 to 20 died in accidents because they had been drinking.

In order to help reduce your teen’s crash risk parents need to talk to their child about the dangers and consequences involved with taking on the responsibility of driving.