Monday, August 31, 2009

Sue Scheff: Teen Driving

When your teenager reaches the age of their new freedom, called driving, it can cause many parents to reach stress levels that they never knew existed. Or quietly honestly, just hoped this day would never come, since it was only yesterday we taught them to ride a bike.

As a Parent Advocate I believe an educated parent is a prepared parent that equals a safer teen! I know personally the stress I went through when both my teens (now adults) started driving. What I found to be interesting was that my daughter was very anxious to get behind the wheel and had her permit within a week of her birthday. My son wasn’t in any hurry and actually was 18 before he got his license.

We all have different teens with unique personalities; however the nature of parenting usually doesn’t change: we worry. I am listing a few great resources targeted at helping you with this next stage of parenting teens - teen drivers.

Teen Driving – A must read and print out, Teen Driving Contract. This website offers tremendous tips about teenage driving, maintaining their cars, driving in a variety of weather conditions, looking into car insurance for teens and more.

Safe Teen Driving Club – 1-866-930-TEEN (8336) is a comprehensive website and organization that I encourage parents to take the time to review. From choosing a safe car to learning about defensive driving, Safe Teen Driving Club covers a wide range of topics that are critical for you and your teen to be aware of. You may also be interested in their recommended vehicle tracker (GPS).

ZoomSafer – “We don’t let friends drive distracted.” Distracted driving is a complicated and growing behavioral problem, especially with teenagers. Whether it is texting or talking on your cell phone while driving, it is a distraction that can potentially lead to tragic endings. Follow ZoomSafer on Twitter at @IDriveFocused and get updates.

Vision 20/20 – The Vision 20/20 P.O.M. Pilot is one of the smallest real-time GPS tracking devices available. If you are considering a GPS, this one is waterproof, highly sensitive and comes equipped with a panic button, GeoFencing features, remote control and more. Follow Vision 20/20 on Twitter at @GoVision2020.

I am confident there are many other great resources online for parents (feel free to leave comments below), as well as products. It is up to the parent to decide what is best for their individual families. There are many different services and products. I encourage all parents to do their research before choosing the right product for them.

For more info: CDC - Teen Drivers, Save Teen Drivers Blog, The Safe Driver. Take the time to visit these websites and resources.