“These findings highlight the need for parents to realize how their teens perceive their actions,” says Dave Melton, a driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance and its managing director of global safety. “Kids are always observing the decisions parents make behind the wheel and may see unsafe driving as acceptable.”
Teens Can Influence Parents
Similar to past data showing the power of teens to correct poor driving behavior by peers, the same holds true for a car being driven by their parents: nearly three-quarters (70 percent) of the teens surveyed reported that their parents listen to them and change their poor driving behavior when they point out dangerous driving practices.
Unfortunately, not many do.
So, job one is to empower young people to make their discomfort with unsafe driving known to drivers, whoever they are!
What else might help keep kids and adults safe and alive? Ongoing family dialogue about rules for the road that apply equally for everyone.
Indeed, more than a decade of research by SADD and Liberty Mutual point to the potency of open, honest conversations between parents and teens … conversations often made easier and more effective by the signing of behavior contracts that make clear the expectations for both sides.
The Parent/Teen Driving Contract is one such tool and is available for free at LibertyMutual.com/TeenDriving
This way, “Do as I say” becomes synonymous with “Do as I do.”