Parental Involvement May Keep Teen Drivers Safer On The Road This Summer

June 19, 2013

More teenage motor vehicle fatalities happen in summer than any other time of year. While teen driving statistics are troubling, research shows teens whose parents set rules are half as likely to get in an accident.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has compiled tips and resources, including a Teen Driving Contract, for parents.

The NAIC’s Teen Driving Contract is a customizable Web interface for creating a formal agreement between parent and teenager that defines the rules and consequences associated with driving privileges. Users select from pre-written rules, such as always wearing a seatbelt and never texting while driving, and associated consequences, including loss of driving privileges. Users also can write in their own rules prior to creating a handy printout for signatures and easy reference.

“As parents, the ultimate goal when our kids start driving is to ensure their safety and the safety of others. That starts with establishing expectations,” said Jim Donelon, NAIC president and Louisiana Insurance Commissioner. “The good news is that by setting boundaries, we are making the roads safer for everyone. As a parent and insurance commissioner, I know that fewer accidents is a goal we can all get behind.”

Setting Expectations

Inexperience, distracted driving, speeding and drug or alcohol use are major contributors to teen-related crashes. Consider that:

  • More than 40 percent of teen auto deaths occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • For teenagers, the relative risk of a fatal crash increases as the number of passengers increases.
  • Talking and texting on a cell phone can double the likelihood of an accident.
  • Only 44 percentof teens say they would speak up if someone were driving in a way that scared them.

Tyler Presnell, founder of the Tyler Presnell Foundation, knows firsthand the consequences of not speaking up. Since suffering life-threatening injuries at age 14 when a friend lost control of the car, Presnell has dedicated his life to raising awareness of what he calls “disrespectful driving.” Presnell is partnering with the NAIC to help raise awareness about the importance of safe and respectful driving, especially among teens.

“Respect for driving and common courtesy on the road show you care not only about your life, but also the lives of others,” said Presnell. “Individuals behind-the-wheel and passengers owe consideration to those around them.”

Source: NAIC

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