Parents can help keep young drivers safe on the roads

March 20, 2013 12:00 AM

Parents play a key role in keeping their children safe while driving, and it goes beyond just teaching them the rules of the road. Adults act as role models behind the wheel, as they pass on certain habits to their kids, and those who try their best to emphasize positive practices can help young people stay safe. 

Data from the Governors Highway Safety Association showed the number of U.S. deaths for drivers ages 16 and 17 grew by 19 percent in the first half of 2012, MSN reports. If this trend continues, it will be the second straight year fatalities increased. 

To prevent these numbers from getting any higher, parents can demonstrate best practices and teach their kids to know basic vehicle maintenance so they are aware of potential mechanical issues. Engaging young people in the driving process, always using a seat belt, never speeding and avoiding tailgating are all essential ideas that teens should learn from their parents. 

"By setting a good example behind the wheel, parents can increase the chances their children will adopt safe driving practices," said Jim Vella, president of Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "While state laws and educational programs are critical, ultimately, parents are the most critical component to keep their teen drivers safe." 

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