Staying involved helps keep new drivers safe
We know the risks our teens face on the road.
We face the same risks each time we drive. But they are usually no big deal for us because we have lots of experience driving.
The experts say there are very specific things we can do that will help keep our teens safe behind the wheel:
Practice with them. Sit beside them as they drive - often - 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. They have learned from you all their life. They don't stop learning now that they have their license.
Sign a parent - teen agreement. A written agreement 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.
Let other parents know how you feel. And know how other parents feel about teen driver safety. It can be tough enforcing rules with your teen when their friend's parents don't enforce rules. And it also can be dangerous for your teen to be a passenger in a car driven by a teen who got too many driving privileges too quickly. Make sure you know where other parents stand on teen driver safety. Tell other parents about your feelings.
Pediatricians, the doctors who have cared for your teen ever since they were born, feel very strongly about teen driver safety. Below, Dr. Alison Tothy, MD, FAAP, Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital, suggests ways you can help keep your teen driver safe.