I didn’t expect to be laughing one minute and wiping tears off my cheeks the next at an event sponsored by car insurance.
Tuesday night I sat through a presentation on teen driving safety by Allstate, and it was not boring at all. They hooked us in with funny skits from Chicago’s Second City, sobering teen driving statistics, a tragic personal story, and a really effective speaker from the National Safety Council.
As he said, sometimes it’s much more effective to go out and experience something in real life- to hear it live from an actual person, rather than watch an internet video or read an article. We tend to pay more attention and retain more of what we’ve learned.
This just so happened to be the main point of Allstate’s presentation: new drivers need more real-life practice driving. Research shows that inexperience is the No. 1 cause of teen crashes, but 74 percent of parents inaccurately believe that risk-taking is the leading cause.
I know I’m not the only parent who is terrified of their kids getting into a crash – there are some proven steps we can take to reduce the likelihood of this happening.
- Make sure you drive the way you want your teen to drive- they emulate you! This is true with everything you do, but has the potential to save their life if they are driving, and just glance down at their phone for a minute because they’ve seen you do it.
- Continue to be in the car with your teenager during their first year of driving – you’ll be there to help them navigate tricky situations they didn’t learn about in driver’s ed.
- Print out the teen/parent agreement from the Drive It Home site, or make one to fit the needs of you and your kids. My step daughter is a conscientious driver, and I know she won’t text while driving, but I think it’s worth reminding her that passengers can be a huge source of distraction while she’s trying to concentrate on navigating the road.
- Most parents are not setting rules around the most dangerous behaviors on the road, including passengers and nighttime driving. Less than half of Illinois teens (49%) say their parents have set rules on night restrictions, while only 47% say they have restrictions on the number of passengers.
Now. It’s easy to nod your head in agreement and click away, but keep this stuff fresh in your mind by exploring the Drive It Home site– designed by parents for parents, it features engaging videos, practice tips and other valuable resources. If you have a child approaching (or at) the driving age, you’ll really want to read this stuff. If you have wee ones at home, pin this for later, or at least to help spread the word:
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.