10 Rules for Teen Driving
Get to Know the Dangers
If you're like most parents, you have mixed feelings every time you watch your teen pull out of the driveway. You're probably relieved to be off the hook for the constant carpooling you've been doing for years. But chances are you're also well aware of the dangers behind the wheel. Car crashes are the number-one cause of death for U.S. teenagers and about 6,000 young drivers die on the roads each year. Of course you worry constantly that your kid will be one of them.
The good news is that many teens now understand the danger of combining drinking and driving, according to a 2007 survey from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the insurance company State Farm. The bad news, though, is that many of these new drivers still don't recognize the hazards of other activities, such as talking on a cell phone or hitting the road while drowsy -- activities that are equally dangerous. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Utah found that when people drive and talk on their cell, they are as impaired as when they drive intoxicated. Even worse, a new State Farm parent survey found, you may unwittingly be setting a bad example for your child. Many parents confessed to speeding, using their phone, and engaging in other bad driving habits that kids pick up.
That's why it's so important to educate your child about good driving habits today. We asked experts for the smartest ways to correct your child's misconceptions -- and improve your own driving while you're at it.