When we release our teens at some point as newly independent drivers, do we just hope for the best? Do we figure that we made it all right, and they will too? I can still recall the day that one of my daughter’s high school friends was killed in a car accident. In some real ways, my daughter’s life was divided into “before” and “after.” And yet…does she know what driving behaviors are risky? I know I’ve talked about texting recently, as well as speeding. As parents, we have the ability to “nag” to the point we get tuned out. But we still have our kids’ ears as long as they are driving a car we paid for, so let’s look them in the eye, and say it again:
No putting on makeup
No driving under the influence of ANYTHING…
And, according to a study done by AAA, that “anything” means even the influence of the presence of other teens. The study showed that fatal crashes among 16- and 17-year-old drivers showed these increased risks when teens had other teens in the car.
- The prevalence of speeding increased from 30 percent to 44 percent and 48 percent with zero, two and three or more teen passengers, respectively.
- The prevalence of late-night driving (11 p.m. to 5 a.m.) increased from 17 percent to 22 percent and 28 percent with zero, two and three or more teen passengers, respectively.
- The prevalence of alcohol use increased from 13 percent to 17 percent and 18 percent with zero, two and three or more teen passengers, respectively.