Teenagers in Ohio are like teenagers everywhere. They are very excited to get their driver’s license but think mainly about the places it can take them and the independence it will bring. However, it is vital that teens understand the enormous responsibility that comes with this privilege. How can parents help teens become safer and more aware drivers?
According to The New York Times, car accidents involving teenage drivers are the leading cause of death and injury for this age group. This is due not to bad skill sets, but rather errors in judgment that these young and unseasoned drivers make when they are on the road. It is therefore vital that teens receive not only driver’s education, but also thorough and repeated supervised driving to help them gain sufficient experience behind the wheel.
In addition to many, many hours of practice, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends other ways to help youths become better, safer drivers. Repeated communications must occur between parents and children about expectations regarding mobile devices to reduce and eliminate opportunities for distracted driving. Parents should be good motor role models for their children long before they get a learner’s permit, both in terms of driving performance and also with respect to never drinking and driving.
More hours spent guiding youngsters behind the wheel means more chances to offer suggestions and input into safer driving techniques. Special emphasis must be placed on behaviors like speeding with consequences for breaking the law. Time invested in molding teenagers into safer drivers pays off not only for the teens themselves, but also for everyone on the road.