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Teen Crash Risk High in First Month of Driving, Study Finds
Date:10/14/2011

deteriorated, resulting in some close calls, texting while driving, horseplay with passengers, running red lights and other potentially dangerous behaviors.

"This research serves as a great reminder for parents to stay involved in the learning process even after the law allows teens to drive without a parent in the car," added Kissinger. "Continued parent engagement can help teens gain needed driving experience and shape their habits for a lifetime of safe driving."

The experts advised parents of several steps they can take to keep their children safe when they are on the road on their own, including:

  • Continue to practice with teens even after they get their driver's license to help them master basic driving skills in all types of driving conditions, including snow and heavy traffic.
  • Limit passengers. The risk for crashes increases significantly with teenage passengers in the car.
  • Avoid night driving. Because there is reduced visibility, inexperienced teen drivers shouldn't drive at night unless it is necessary or when practicing with an adult.
  • Parents should set clear rules about when and where their teens are allowed to drive. Limits should be set on bad weather, highways, cities or other difficult driving conditions.

And, the AAA experts added, parents should be firm and enforce the limits and rules they set on their teen's driving.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about teen drivers.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: AAA Foundation, news release, Oct. 11, 2011


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