Teach Parents to Be Teachers
Preparing Parents To Let Go
One of the most difficult decisions a parent makes is allowing a child to drive on his own. It requires trust in the teen and confidence in the lessons he has been taught. There is no litmus test to decide whether a teen is ready for the responsibility, but parents should be encouraged to ask themselves the following questions:
While parents are grappling with that decision, they also may be considering buying a car for their teens. Research has shown that teens that share a car for the first six months of full licensure have a reduced crash risk. Parents should be encouraged to delay buying their teens a car.
If parents do decide to buy their teens a car they should be encouraged to proceed cautiously. Sports cars, SUVs and other vehicles that encourage speeding should be avoided. Encourage parents to read the information at Choosing a Car for Your Teen and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's website. These sources features objective advice about car ratings and selection, as well as crash test results.
It is important to remind parents that they need to continue to monitor their teens' driving well after full licensure. Some parents feel that once teens have a license in their hands their job is done, but that couldn't be further from the truth. A teen's greatest lifetime crash risks occurs in the first 6 to 12 months after receiving a license. Parents need to guide their teens through this dangerous time and can make a big difference in continuing to keep their teen drivers safe.