Two new studies reveal that teen crashes and risky driving behaviors such as cell phone use, failure to wear seat belts, and drinking and driving are strongly linked with the way teens and parents communicate and approach rules about safety.
Female: Mandy Fisher will be taking her driver’s test soon and her mother is nervous. Female: I'm very happy for her but it scary to think about what can happen when she's on her own behind the wheel. I guess I just want to protect her as long as I can. Female: When teen start driving parents start worrying and with good reason. Teens have fatal crashes at four times the rate of adult drivers. Male: My dad says he cannot go to sleep until he knows I'm up the roads. Female: Results of a new study showed there are something parents can do to cut their teen’s risk of crashing in half. The new study conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State farm found teens are half as like neither crash and fall like that they drink and drive, use their cell phone or skid if their parents at clear rules pay attention to where they're going, who they’ll be with and when they will be home, it’s also important to do this in a supportive way. Kenneth Ginsburg: It can be tough for family to strike the right balance between supporting teen’s independence and setting the rules to keep them safe. But when the teens understand that parents make rules because they care about safety not because they are controlling then it is easier for families to agree on the house rules for driving and the consequences for not following those rules. Female: The study also found teens who are reported being the main driver of a car where choices likely to be involved in the crash compared with teens who said they share the car with other family members. Flaura Winston: We’re not saying teens should never drive. We’re not even saying you shouldn’t help them get their own car. We’re just saying that for the first six to 12 months they’ll be much safer if you control the keys. When teens have to share a vehicle they have to ask for it. This request for the car naturally leads to conversations about where they are going and who they will be with. Female: Parents can also follow state graduated driver licensing laws proven to reduce crash rates by keeping new driver out of the most dangerous situations. Laurette Stiles: Everyone in the car should be wearing a seatbelt all the time. There should be no teen passengers riding with the new driver for at least the first six months. Also we recommend no unsupervised night time driving after 10:00 P.M. for at least six months as the teen gains more experience and finally, there should be no cell phone use. Female: How can I get my parents stop nagging me about where I'm going and whom I'm going to hang out with? Kenneth Ginsburg: One of the best ways to keep your mom from nagging you about where you're going is to tell her before she asked. When you volunteer information it’s going to build trust between you. Remind your mom of the smart decisions you're making when you're getting your own car or someone else’s and she's going to be more like they’ve work with you the more the things you want to do on your own. Female: Well every time my daughter and I talk about driving or using the car we end up fighting. How can I stop that from happening? Kenneth Ginsburg: First, it’s important to let your daughter know that the rules are there for safety not for control. Knowing you're on her side can go really long way here. Give your daughter your undivided attention and really listen. Let her know you're going to work with her to achieve the freedom she wants but it may not all come at once. Some rules are non-negotiable like wearing a seatbelts and not using cell phones while driving and some can be reevaluates over time and experience like driving in night or driving with passengers. Female: I hear so much about the dangers using the cell phone or texting behind the wheel. But I want him to have a phone in the car in case of emergencies or if want to get in touch with them, what kind of rules can I set for him and still let him have a phone? Flaura Winston: You need to start by setting an example. They're watching you. Don’t use a cell phone behind the wheel. If you need to take the call immediately let it go to voicemail then pull over and call or text the person back from a safe location. Make this the rule for your son too. Talk with him about where he can keep the phone in the car so he’s not tempted to answer it while he’s driving and always let him know the reason for setting the rule is not to control him or make his life difficult but because you want him to be safe. Female: Parents can visit www.chop.edu/YoungDrivers or www.StateFarm.com/TeenDriving for tips sheets and resources.