Ensure the Safety of Teen Drivers
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So your child is turning 16 (or chomping at the bit to reach that age)? That’s a big deal for both of you. He’s psyched about learning to drive—and you’re either terrified or thrilled. If you’re in the former category, you’re not alone. I’m currently teaching my only child to drive (he’s currently a probationary license holder), and I’m convinced it’s one of the scariest things I’ll ever do.
If, however, you’re a parent who can’t wait to toss your teen the keys, proceed with caution: Car crashes are the number one killer of 16- to 20-year-olds in New Jersey. No other age group on the road has a higher crash risk.
Surprised? Most parents are. I teach a program designed to educate parents about teen driving. When I ask them what they are most concerned about when it comes to their kids’ safety, parents seldom mention car crashes. Instead, they cite things like drugs, suicide, and predators. But the reality is that car crashes top the list.
We need to take all these issues seriously, but the focus of this article is driving. How can you ensure that your teen survives the most dangerous time of her life? Learn about and leverage the proven principles of New Jersey’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) program. You can bet your teens know about GDL (go ahead and quiz them), so it’s essential you do, too.
Start with baby steps—>