How parents are the key to teenage driving success

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Teenage drivers face significant risks on the road. According to data from the West Virginia Department of Transportation, teenage drivers are disproportionately involved in motor vehicle accidents, with a higher rate of crashes compared to other age groups. West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) has partnered with highway safety and law enforcement agencies to help prevent crashes, injuries and death.

However, despite government involvement, one of the crucial factors in this equation is parental involvement and guidance. Parents have more influence over their children due to environmental and physiological factors.

Ways parents can support their teenage drivers 

Parents can shape their teenagers’ driving habits and help ensure their safety on the road. By taking an active role in their child’s driver education and setting clear expectations and guidelines, parents can help encourage responsible behaviors that reduce the risk of accidents. 

As parents, you can: 

  • Lead by example: Parents should model safe driving behaviors, such as obeying speed limits, avoiding distractions and always wearing a seatbelt. Teenagers often mimic their parents’ driving habits.
  • Enforce graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws: West Virginia has a GDL program, which includes restrictions and requirements for teen drivers. Parents should ensure their teenagers understand and adhere to these rules. 
  • Provide supervised practice: Before teens obtain their full driver’s license, they need plenty of practice under various conditions. Parents should actively supervise their driving practice, gradually increasing the difficulty as their skills improve. 
  • Set limits on distractions: Cell phones, passengers and other distractions increase the risk of accidents for teen drivers. Parents should establish clear rules about cell phone use and limit the number of passengers in the car. 

With the guidance and support of parents, teenagers can minimize these risks while driving. 

In case of a teenage motor vehicle accident, parents should consider seeking legal guidance to help create a strategy for the way forward.  

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