Keep your teens safe on the road this summer

July 23, 2014
Keep your teens safe on the road this summer
Parents should limit car use, point out unsafe driving behaviors, be a good role model, set 'carfews'

(HealthDay)—Car crashes are the leading cause of accidental death among American teens, and parents need to take steps to keep their teens safe when they're on the road this summer, an expert says.

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the deadliest time of the year for and passengers, according to the AAA auto club.

"Even more than drinking and —which, thanks to strong messaging, is at an all-time low—distracted driving is a huge problem for teens. [That] includes anything that takes their attention away from the road: cellphones, texting, music and GPS, but most of all, other passengers," Jane McCormack, trauma program manager at Stony Brook University Hospital, said in a university news release.

"The number one thing parents can do to help keep their drivers safe is get involved and stay involved," she advised. "Just because a teen has completed driver's education training and has received a license does not mean he or she is road ready."

McCormack offered a number of tips for parents, including not giving teens free use of the car.

"Teens who have to ask for permission to take the car have fewer crashes, better safety records and higher rates of seat belt use," she noted.

Along with pointing out unsafe behaviors by other drivers, parents should explain to their teens why they make certain driving decisions.

"Describe what you are doing. This will give your teen context and rationale for the things that you do automatically based on your more than 20 years of experience behind the wheel," McCormack said.

It's also important for parents to be good role models. "If you talk on your cellphone, eat lunch, apply makeup and peek at text messages while driving, why should a teen listen to you when you ask them not to do the same?" she noted.

Give teens a 10 p.m. "carfew"—meaning they must have the car home by that time. "Most fatal crashes occur at night, so this takes the teen off the road during the most dangerous hours," McCormack said. "If an adult driver needs to transport the teen after 10 p.m., that teen will be safer."

Another strategy suggested by McCormack is to create a parent-teen driver contract that clearly outlines parents' expectations, including not texting and driving, not drinking and driving, and not getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking.

Explore further: Intervention appears to help teen drivers get more, better practice

More information: The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about safe driving for teens.

Related Stories

Intervention appears to help teen drivers get more, better practice

June 23, 2014
A web-based program for teen drivers appears to improve driving performance and quality supervised practice time before teens are licensed.

Speed a factor in one-third of deadly crashes involving teen drivers

June 27, 2013
(HealthDay)—Speeding is a factor in a third of fatal crashes involving teen drivers in the United States, according to a new report.

Loud talking and horseplay in car results in more serious incidents for teen drivers

April 17, 2014
Adolescent drivers are often distracted by technology while they are driving, but loud conversations and horseplay between passengers appear more likely to result in a dangerous incident, according to a new study from the ...

Driver distraction: Do as I say, not as I do (or what you think I do)

November 28, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—While it may come as no surprise that parents who talk on cell phones, send texts or eat and drink while driving have teenagers who are more likely to do the same, what teens think their parents do behind ...

Can pediatricians successfully promote safe driving agreements between teens and parents?

October 28, 2013
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens. A study presented Monday, Oct. 28, at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando evaluated a pediatric intervention ...

Recommended for you

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

Scientists develop new supplement that can repair, rejuvenate muscles in older adults

July 18, 2017
Whey protein supplements aren't just for gym buffs according to new research from McMaster university. When taken on a regular basis, a combination of these and other ingredients in a ready-to-drink formula have been found ...

Study: Eating at 'wrong time' affects body weight, circadian rhythms

July 18, 2017
A new high-precision feeding system for lab mice reinforces the idea that the time of day food is eaten is more critical to weight loss than the amount of calories ingested.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.