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The key role of proactive parents in teen driver safety

The message delivered last week during National Teen Driver Safety Week should resonate clearly across Ohio and the rest of the country.

It is simple, and it is this: If you’re a parent concerned about the safety of your teenage son or daughter who was just recently licensed, get involved. According to the group Governors Highway Safety Association, supportive parents who take a keen interest in their children’s safety out on the roads are strong barometers for ensuring it.

The GHSA website states that parents “play a critical role in helping teens survive their most dangerous driving years.” They do so, says the national nonprofit organization that works with safety officials in all the states, by setting clear driving rules -- for example, no speeding, no drinking, no cellphone use while driving and adherence to passenger limits and rules regarding nighttime driving -- and spending high numbers of hours in supervised driving activities with their young drivers. 

That latter point is closely akin to on-the-job training, with the GHSA recommending that parents and teen drivers log at least 50 hours of practice in differing types of driving conditions. The safety group also encourages liberal amounts of supervised driving time generally during a teen motorist’s first year behind the wheel after being licensed.

The GHSA provides a number of other tips online that it says will appreciably curb car accidents involving teens. Among those are drafting an agreement that spells out expectations concerning a teen’s operation of a motor vehicle and the participation of both parents and teen motorists in a parent-teen driving program. 

Source: Forbes, "Teens with parents who set driving rules 71% less likely to drive drunk, GHSA says," Tanya Mohn, Oct. 22, 2013

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