Friday, June 12, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teen driving tips for parents

Teen driving tips for parents

By: Marvelous Girl

With summer revving its engine, classes ending and summer jobs starting, it’s a great time of year for teenagers. However, between driving to work, taking road trips and joyriding without care, teens are on the road a lot more in the summer months.

It is no surprise, then, that data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows an annual spike in traffic accidents, injuries and deaths among young people in the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day. As teens start cruising around this summer, it is important for parents to remind them how to stay safe behind the wheel. Below are a few quick tips for parents of teen drivers from

Create a driving contract for your teen, and be prepared to stick to it. A driving contract is a great way to let teens know that driving is both a privilege and a serious responsibility. It also establishes clear expectations about driving for your teen: always wear a seat belt, never get into a vehicle with someone who’s been drinking, etc. A customizable contract template is available at

Choose an ICE contact. All drivers should designate an emergency contact in the address book of their cell phones under the name “ICE” — In Case of Emergency. Emergency workers in many towns check for an ICE contact in cell phones.

Set a good example. Practice what you preach. When parents run red and yellow lights, speed down the highway at 75 miles per hour, weave in and out of traffic, ride the bumper of the car in front of them and exhibit signs of road rage, they are telling teens that rules don’t count — and this can be fatal. Be a role model for your teen.

For more parent tips, visit