In fact, teens who say their parents establish rules and pay attention to their activities in a helpful, supportive way are half as likely to be in a crash. According to research from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and State Farm®, it's important for parents to communicate with teens that the rules are in place to keep them safe--not in order to control them.
Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for adolescents, and a teen driver's greatest lifetime chance of crashing occurs in the first six to 12 months after receiving a license. However, studies show that the majority of these crashes are preventable.
It's a fact that supermodel and celebrity mom Niki Taylor knows personally. "As the mother of two teenage sons and a car crash survivor, I know firsthand the gravity of this issue, and I wanted to try to do something about it," she says.
To help parents talk with their teens, Taylor teamed with State Farm and CHOP to develop an online resource to guide parents in setting rules that are the most likely to protect their teen drivers. The resource offers these tips:
Set Permanent Driving Rules
• Use seat belts on every trip.
• Do not use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving. Help your teen follow this rule by setting the example: Complete calls before your car is in gear and pull over for urgent calls.
• Follow all driving laws, including no speeding.
• Do not drive while impaired or ride as a passenger with an impaired driver.
• Do not ride with an unlicensed or inexperienced teen driver.
Set Initial Driving Limits
• No peer passengers. Include siblings as passengers after a teen's first six months of driving only if they are properly restrained.
• No nighttime driving. Gradually increase driving curfew after practicing driving at night with your teen.
• No high-speed roads. Slowly add more difficult roads after practicing together.
• No driving in bad weather. Allow teens to drive in more difficult conditions, such as light rain or snow, after you have practiced with them.
• Control the keys. Gradually increase the amount teens can drive after six months of being responsible--even if they drive their own car.
Go to www.statefarm.com/teendriving for more information on how to talk with your teen about safe driving.