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Parent Support Is Key

As parents of teens you may sometimes feel that you rate low in importance--after friends, Facebook, iPods®, sports, and homework. This isn’t true: Your teens need you now more than ever and really want you to be involved in their lives. They just don’t always show it. Believe it: You matter in keeping teen drivers safe, from being their most desired teachers to supporting their safety with fair, effective rules well after licensure.

Researchers have long known that parenting style (your approach to raising your teen) can greatly influence whether your child avoids or takes part in risky behaviors, such as smoking or drinking. Results from our National Young Driver Survey (NYDS) show that your parenting approach may even save your teen’s life by lowering crash risk. Teens who described their parents as authoritative (highly supportive and involved, set rules, and monitor) reported fewer risky driving behaviors and half the crash risk in the last year as teens who described their parents as less involved. We also found:

  • Teens with involved parents (set rules and monitor) are twice as likely to wear seat belts.
  • Teens with supportive, involved parents are 70 percent less likely to drink and drive.
  • Teens with involved parents (set rules and monitor) are half as likely to speed.
  • Teens with involved parents (set rules and monitor) are 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone while driving.

Parents who are less involved may believe "teens will be teens” and learn from their mistakes. While this is sometimes true (forgetting homework or their gym clothes, for example), crashes are too dangerous to leave to chance. Being involved can make the difference.

To learn more, download TeenDrivingPlan Tip Sheet: The Intermediate Period.

Your Support is Key

Download the TeenDrivingPlan
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Download the TeenDrivingPlan
Goal Guide

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