How to help your teenager be a better driver

Timothy Smith, Author and Teen Driving Expert, shares advice for parents on ways that they can help their teenager be a better, safer, and smarter driver
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How to help your teenager be a better driver

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Many parents are concerned about helping their teens develop better driving skills. You've got limited time and most people don't have instruction in driver training. But here's the good news. Research has shown that when parents get involved in their teen's driver instruction, especially with time behind the wheel, and set certain restrictions, their odds of being involved in a car crash and can be reduced by up to 1/3. That's huge. So keep in mind, even if you don't have a lot of instruction and you're not the best driving role model, you can have a huge impact on your teen's driver skill development. It's important for you to understand that driver education today in this country really doesn't equip your teens to be a safe, smart driver. They barely have the time and resources to teach basic car control and help them pass the state licensing exam. And all of the risks that have to do with societal and peer and parental pressure, that's outside the scope of most driver education programs. So parents can have the ability to step in, particularly after they get their license and after they've gone through driver's ed to help develop those safe driving skills and attitudes to understand the fundamentals of defensive driving and how to assess and deal with the distractions and the road rage and the hazards posed by other drivers on the road. So yes, you as parents are well qualified to help your teens become safer, smarter drivers. And finally, one important thing you can do as a parent is to sign what I call a crash-proof contract. It's just a written agreement that outlines your roles and responsibilities and outlines some rewards and incentives for use of the car and driver behavior. That can go a long ways toward reducing the crash risk for your teen.
TEEN, Responsibilities, Driving

Timothy Smith, Author and Teen Driving Expert, shares advice for parents on ways that they can help their teenager be a better, safer, and smarter driver

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Timothy Smith

Author & Teen Driving Expert

Timothy Smith is a healthcare executive living in the Chicago area with his wife and three children.   He got involved with teen driving several years ago when a number of teenagers were killed in multiple crashes near his home, virtually all due to driver error.   His search for information to help his teens avoid car crashes yielded little of value, so he became a certified driving instructor, got trained and licensed to race cars, took defensive driving courses and ended up writing Crashproof Your Kids: Make Your Teen A Safer, Smarter Driver.  He is also Chairman of Aegis Mobility, a software company which has developed technology to manage and reduce cell phone use while driving. 

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