Parent Awareness Responsibility Training


















Let’s start by talking…We have been talking to our child since day one…we may not think they have always been listening…but, that should not stop us from continuing the dialogue!

A survey by the All State Foundation found that parents discussed the following when their child was 12 or younger:

  • 77% discussed the dangers of smoking.
  • 72% discussed the dangers of taking drugs.
  • 70% discussed peer pressure.
  • 51% discussed underage drinking.
  • 40% discussed drunk driving.
  • 32% discussed safe sex.
  • But only 27% discussed safe driving!

This topic should be discussed as frequently if not more than others. How often did we tell our child to stay away from strangers, or look both ways before crossing a street? We did not wait until they were outside playing on their own before telling them this. Don’t wait till they get their drivers permit to start the discussion of safe driving and the risks they face. They’re listening…are you talking? 

What can you do to really make a difference…

The ART of Driving wants to assist parents in their critical role of preparing their teen to face today’s driving challenges. This really is YOUR responsibility. Think of the following as a Road Map.

  • Give careful consideration to your teens driving education and training. Earlier in this program we discussed the need for evidence-based training. Do your homework, is the instructor certified? Exactly what will be covered and how much time will be spent behind-the–wheel? Let the instructor know that you are involved and interested. This is not the time to bargain shop…you spent lots of time and money on sports training and music lessons; this is more important.
  • Remember that you “hold the keys”. Most parents forget that even after their 16 year old receives their license they are still in control of that license and can take it away!  Maintain control by setting restrictions and imposing consequences for not following the rules. Know your states’ GDL laws. Utilize the Art of Driving Teen-Parent Driving Contract!
  • Practice, practice, and practice some more.  One of the most important things you can do to keep your teen and others safe on the road is to give them as much supervised time behind-the-wheel as possible. Drive with your teen in a variety of driving conditions.  Anytime you and your teen are in the car together they should be the one driving.  Unless of course the weather is severe or you are on a major highway with high speeds; your teen may not be at the point where they are ready for that experience. After some time introduce them to those experiences with you.
  • Don’t rush it. This should be a slow steady process whereby teens are gradually introduced to more challenging driving tasks and build upon their driving experiences. They must be given the opportunity to develop good driving habits. Some teens do not want to drive; they are not yet comfortable with the task. Respect their decision; don’t say, “I can’t keep driving you everywhere”. There are many parents who would give anything to be able to drive their teen somewhere! This is what The ART of Driving calls the "convenience trap". Many parents have said they just don’t have the time to keep “carting their teen” to activities or jobs…how many of you have said…”I can’t wait until they have a license and can drive themselves around”? Take it slow…you will be happy you did!
  • Discuss with your teen the influence (both positive and negative) that peers have on him/her. Assist your teen in understanding and dealing with peer pressure. Discuss this with other parent and present a united front. Many parents actually put pressure on each other to let teens have more driving privileges then they are ready for. This is a good topic at your next PTA meeting or block party.
  • Teach your teen what it means to be a good passenger. Explain how they can actually keep each other safe by being a responsible passenger. Model what that means; if your cell phone rings ask someone else in the car to answer it and explain why.
  • Be a good role model. They have been watching you drive for a long time. Have they witnessed you not coming to a complete stop, speeding, getting angry at another driver, not wearing a seat belt, driving after you’ve been drinking…all of which we do not want them to do! Even before they get their permit you can talk about safe driving each time you ride in the car together. Point out unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding, talking on a cell phone, and tail gaiting. Teach them it’s okay to tell a passenger not to distract them when driving…if your children are in the car and they are distracting you…tell them, “Please don’t distract me while I’m driving”. Don’t eat, change CD’s or reach for something when driving…pull over and explain how you need to give your full attention to the road. Let them see you always demonstrate the following:
  • Avoid distractions
  • Always wear a seat belt and insist all passengers do the same
  • Always drive the speed limit
  • Always come to a complete stop at stop signs/signals
  • Always be a courteous driver
  • Always keep a safe following distance and use turn signals

This really is a time to practice what you preach!



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