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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Preparing Parents for Teens to Drive

Just a reminder - if you have not completed the Teen Health 411 Anniversary Survey - there is still time - do it right now!

I was sure that my daughter starting to drive would keep me awake some nights, but we are both moving forward, toward the day she will be 15.5 years old and ready to learn how to drive. My assignment last week was to call my insurance company and ask when I needed to add her to my insurance. The good news was, not until she getsher license - while driving with her permit, my insurance already covers her! The bad news was, even being a female, with good grades, and getting a discount for completing a computer-based program called Teen Smart, it will cost about $900 a year to add her to my policy - even if she only drives my car 20% of the time.

Well, OK, that was a shock, and I just decided that am not in a hurry for this to happen, and hoped she forgot she wanted to learn how to drive RIGHT NOW! No such luck, she collected my homework and we were looking at purchasing "Teen Smart" from Adeptdriver.com, which did not happen because they do not have a web-based or Macintosh-compatible version, but I discovered the following page of statistics:
  • Any year, 60% of 16-18 year-old drivers will be in a police-reported collision;
  • Teens are 400% more likely to die in a car crash tan 25-34 year-old drivers;
  • 16-18 year old annual crash rates were up 6% between 2000 and 2003; and
  • The chance of one crash in the first three years of driving is 89.2%.

Now I am terrified - how can people let their kids drive? How to cope with the thought of her driving off by herself in under a year? Gracious - there must be some teen driver meditations out there and I intend to find them! For all of you parents who have watched your children drive off in a car - bless you! You are strong, and courageous!

Photo Credit: Jason & Alyssa

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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