"Teens do need parents to set rules, and there need to be consequences when the rules aren't followed," said Dr. Barbara Gaines, director of the trauma and injury prevention program at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
"Parents need to know that the moment a child gets a driver's license is the riskiest time in their lives. Don't treat this time as a fait accompli. Getting the license is a goal, and the first step in a process," she said.
Most parents worry more about sex, drugs and drinking than they do about driving, but car crashes are the biggest threat to teen safety, Ginsburg added. "The great news is that parents really matter. And, when you stay involved and do so in a way that promotes safety, not control, driving becomes the greatest opportunity to promote their children's safety."
To learn more about how to set rules to help your teen driver, visit the National Safety Council.
SOURCES: Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., MS.Ed., adolescent medicine specialist, Center for Injury Research and Prevention, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Barbara Gaines, M.D., director, trauma and injury prevention program, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; Sept. 28, 2009, Pediatrics, online
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