Your parenting style may determine teen driver’s safety


How you approach parenting may determine how safe your teen will be behind the wheel.

The 2006 National Young Driver Survey gathered data on the association between parenting style and driving behaviors of 5,665 ninth-, 10-, and 11-grade student. Parents were separated into four groups based on how teens described them: authoritative (high support and high rules/monitoring), authoritarian (low support/high rules), permissive (high support/low rules) and uninvolved (low support/low rules).

Teens with authoritative parents reported half the crash risk and were 71 percent less likely to drive while intoxicated compared to teens with uninvolved parents. They were also 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone while driving.

Teens with authoritative or authoritarian parents used seat belts twice as often and reported speeding half as often as teens with uninvolved parents. The authors determined that while teens are ultimately responsible for their own behavior, parental involvement that includes both rules and support can effectively foster safer driving practices.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Results of the institute’s study, “Associations Between Parenting Styles and Teen Driving Safety-Related Behaviors and Attitudes,” were reported recently by the American Academy of Pediatrics.


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