Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Teens Admit Risky Driving Habits

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Oh my goodness! As parents we may have assumed that our teenagers do not need to be told that they cannot talk on the cellphone, or text message while driving, but think again! In spite of the fact that parents know teens do not have the experience to do anything other than focus on driving, teens seem to believe they can do multiple things while driving!

A survey conducted by Seventeen magazine and the American Automobile Association with 1,000 teens in April suggests that not only do parents need to talk about risky driving behavior, there needs to be a contract and consequences if teens ignore safety precautions!

Results from the survey suggested that 61% of the teens admitted to risky driving habits including:
  • Having friends in the car (58%);
  • Talking on the cell phone (51%);
  • Text messaging (50%);
  • Speeding (40%); and
  • Drinking or using drugs before driving (11%).
It is worth having a very detailed conversation with teens about the fact that they are inexperienced drivers and even things as basic as changing a radio station should be avoided for at least a year. It might also help to start being critical of their role models, us, and pointing out when we multitask it is not as dangerous as if they were to do it - given our 20+ years of driving experience.

Yet another call to consciousness! Talk to your teens, have rules, and enforce consequences - it may save their lives! You can see examples of driving contracts at the AAA site below.

Resources:
TeenDriving.com
TeenDrivingInfo.com
AAA Public Affairs Exchange

Photo credit: JessicaSarahS

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About the Author

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

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