Are parents good role models for young drivers?

January 15, 2015 05:49 PM
Most parents are tasked with teaching their kids the rules of the road. Some may think this process starts when an adolescent turns 15 or 16 years old, but they're only half right. While direct teaching and training might begin when teens get their learner's permit, they're actually soaking up knowledge in all the years prior, primarily by watching their parents behind the wheel. Parents believe they're doing a good job Goodyear recently conducted a study examining how parents view themselves as driving instructors. According to the survey, more than half of all participants said they're aware children pay attention to their driving habits. Additionally, 34 percent believe how they drive impacts their children's attitudes toward the roadways - particularly when kids are between the ages of 6 and 16. The study found that most parents think they're doing a good job of influencing younger motorists. About 77 percent said their kids see them as good drivers, while 56 percent believe they're viewed as a good example of responsible driving. "It is clear the role of parents starts very early," said Eszter Salamon, president of the European Parents Association. "They are role models for the children. They drive behavior, and their behavior on the road as drivers, cyclists or pedestrians has an influence." Despite the fact that these adults play such an important role, they're not necessarily confident in their own skills. Only 54 percent think they would pass a driving test today, and more than one-fourth admit that they've picked up on bad habits over the years. Whether this consists of distracted driving, lax vehicle maintenance or a disregard for the rules, it can still prove detrimental for younger motorists. Teaching safety is a lifelong commitment Acting the part of a safe, responsible driver is only half the battle for parents. They also have to pass on knowledge to their kids, and this goes beyond simply reciting the rules of the road. For instance, teens should be aware of how to be a defensive driver in situations with inclement weather or congested traffic. Learning the best practices for avoiding dangerous scenarios can prevent collisions, personal injury and expensive auto repair. Some of these techniques aren't easy to pick up on, so parents should do their best to maintain open lines of communication with kids. Whether they decide to teach younger drivers how to change tires on the fly or what type of service their ride needs, this knowledge can be incredibly important in the long run.
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