Parent Awareness Responsibility Training

















The majority of teens who participated in the national “Young Driver Survey” said parents were the greatest influence on their driving behavior more that anyone else (State Farm Insurance).  Parents are the critical link in keeping all teens safe!

This is an exciting time for teens and a worrisome time for parents, especially when you consider the statistics:

  • Between 3,000 and 4,000 15-20 year-olds are killed each year; an additional 300,000 are seriously injured.
  • 60% of all teen passenger deaths occurred when another teen was driving
  • Vehicle crashes kill more teens than drugs, alcohol or suicide combined.

As stated earlier, if a disease were claiming young lives at this rate, there would be a public outcry and a demand for changes. Parents should not only be worried but appalled. Parents should demand changes. Changes to how teens are taught and the resources available to them and parents. Demand that the technology now available be incorporated into driver education programs that would assist with skills such as hazard recognition. Demand that programs be available to assist teen drivers in realizing the unique risks they face and to how to overcome the “it won’t happen to me” mentality and negative peer pressure. Finally, parents need to work together to insure that they are all on “the same page” with this issue; parents helping to keep all teens alive.

There is so much YOU can do….

Facts for Parents 

  • It has been well documented (National Institutes of Health) that the prefrontal cortex of the brain is not fully developed until about the age of 25, and this can be even later for males. This area of the brain is responsible for decision making skills and multi-tasking. A majority of teens have admitted to talking on a cell phone (even text messaging), changing CD’s or channel surfing, eating and talking with passengers. 
  • 16 to 18 year olds have the highest crash rate of any age group. Inexperience is the leading cause of teen driving fatalities.
  • Teens have the lowest rate of seatbelt use…especially males.
  • The first six months after licensure is the most dangerous time for a novice driver.
  • Only 20% of teen driving fatalities were due to alcohol; A common misconception with parents who believe it to be a major cause.
  • Almost 50% of teens stated they would not be comfortable speaking up if a friend was driving irresponsibly…peer pressure is an important factor in their behavior.
  • For every passenger added to a vehicle with a teen driver the risk of a fatal crash increases by 100%.  Restricting passengers in critical.
  • Most parents are not familiar with the Graduated Driver Licensing laws in their state.

Teens suffer from the “it won’t happen to me" mentality and parents from the "not my teen” mentality. Your teen may very well be mature and seem to have it all together. They get good grades, work hard, follow your rules, and for the most part are responsible young people. It is easy to have a false sense of security…vehicle crashes only happen to irresponsible teens, right? Wrong! 

Teens have to be taught that driving is a complex, demanding task. A task that takes time and lots of experience to master. They have to constantly perceive risks and decide how to control the vehicle in a variety of situations; situations that are always changing. Parents can and should play an important role in helping their teen develop safe driving skills. But, how do you do that, where do you start?

"It was not long ago we would often catch a glimpse of a vibrant teenaged-girl driving down our street; think reddish-blond hair blowing in the wind…always a smile on her face, other times she would be laughing with friends. Sometimes she would wave (even though we were never introduced). She looked happy; a young wisp of a girl with a bright future ahead…always driving the speed limit, and with caution. The streets are empty of that vibrant young lady passing by. Some say her spirit lingers near…once I swear I saw her dancing in the street. We know she is in heaven now. Though we may not have known her…we will cherish her memory forever!"

                                                                                        Neighbor, May 2005



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