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Published On: Wed, Jul 29th, 2015

Parental Coaching Guide To Help Drive Change With Your Teens – #GetThereSafe

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored safety campaign with DiMe Media and Allstate Foundation. However, all opinions and stories shared are my own

I have said this before… There are very few things more frightening in the world than a parent letting go…

I have 2 college aged teenagers (twins) and seeing them grow up is not easy on so many levels. So when it came time for them to start driving, it was not easy at all. The reason it was not easy for me because I trust my kids, but I do not trust the world we live in.

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One of the biggest tests for me was handing over the keys to my son Tom for the very first time. I knew he was a pretty good driver but I also knew that he grown up watching that popular movie about fast cars and playing video games. My biggest fear is that he would try to live that experience and not understand the real life consequences of any type of recklessness.

I HAD A FRAME OF REFERENCE….I remember my first time behind the wheel… I grew up watching the Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider and I too wanted to emulate everything I ever imagined about fast cars and racing (it did not help that my first car was a Toyota 1.8, which is a HUGE part of the race car culture in Puerto Rico.) but I learned to respect the privilege of driving by trial and error.

When it was my time, I invested time in teaching my kids the ins and outs of a vehicle, outlined safety features and spent a considerable amount of time driving with them to help them create safe driving habits.

As an involved parent, we know that if we do a good job, our kids do not have to.

and I know that if I do a good job with this blog post, some of you will not have to struggle with this very challenging phase of “letting go” as a parent.

I know that I do not have all the answers, but smart people are good at finding smarter people than the to help them reach their goals… so I am going to share a resource built by lots of smart people at the AllState Foundation. This resource is called Ten Years of Driving Change. I am going to share some resources that will help you coach your teens into a safer culture of driving and hopefully get them where they have to go, safely.

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So what does Ten Years of Driving Change offer…

First of all, they offer research via a Driving Change Report that supports the thought process behind the best practices they share. For example, did you know that;

  • Seventy-nine percent (79 percent) of teens admit to speeding, but only 55 percent of parents believe their teens speed.
  • Ninety-five percent (95 percent) of teens admit to getting a moving violation; only 79 percent of parents believe their teens have committed an offense.
  • Twenty-three percent (23 percent) of teens admit they’ve driven after drinking alcohol and/or using marijuana, but only 7 percent of parents believe their teens have driven under the influence.
  • Eighty-seven percent (87 percent) of teens admit to using cellphones while driving, but only 63 percent of parents say their teens use cellphones while driving.

Are you one of those parents? Statistically speaking, it is very likely.

This brings me to the “conversation”, not that conversation but the conversation about the privilege of driving.

There is so much more to discuss and there is a lot of research to back up some of the themes that will come up in discussion like drunk driving and the increasingly trending distracted driving in a time where the mobile screens scream for our attention.  To help you have the conversation and coach your kids to a safer driving experience, they offer a bi-lingual coaching guide to help you guide them thru the process of becoming a new driver.

Then there is the bi-lingual tip sheet for parents, that comes in handy really connecting the research to the coaching guide but emphasizes on one HUGE component (probably the most important)

Spoiler Alert: Kids will do what they see you do… so LEAD BY EXAMPLE!

TheDriving Change Report also found that parents are engaged in some of the same risky behaviors as their teens:

  • Eighty-four percent (84 percent) of parents admit to speeding (compared to 79 percent of teens).
  • Eighty-eight percent (88 percent) of parents say they use their phones while driving (compared to 87 percent of teens).

“Teens continue to tell us that their parents are the number one influence on how they drive, so as parents we have an important responsibility to model good driving behaviors,” added Sorenson. “We must find new and compelling ways to motivate teens and parents to engage in safe driving habits.”

Here is an important fact you should know… Allstate Foundation needs you to help!

“Our teen safe driving program has contributed to a nearly 48 percent decline in teen crash fatalities since 2005,” said Steve Sorenson, executive vice president, Allstate. “While there has been progress, we continue to encourage parents and teens to have an open dialogue about driving. It’s also important that parents ensure that their teens are wearing their seatbelts, obeying speed limits, and eliminating distractions, because these actions help to keep teens safer on the road.”

Before you get started… there is some great news you need to know…

Additional Driving Change Report data found that;

Today’s teens are generally more responsible, careful drivers compared to their peers, and they are also much more concerned about the consequences of crashes than they were a decade ago.

  • The number of teens age 15-17 who worry about financial and legal consequences from car crashes has nearly tripled (188 percent) since 2005.
  • There has been a 137 percent increase in 10 years in the number of teens age 15-17 who worry about disappointing their parents and friends if they cause a crash.

These more responsible teens are also surprisingly receptive to getting more driving experience.

  • Eighty-three percent (83 percent) of teens and 81 percent of parents wish that teens had more experience and practice before getting a driver’s license.

The last piece, probably the most important piece of advice. GET IT IN WRITING!

Parent-Teen Agreement

Teens want to know what is expected of them. Parents and teens can use this template agreement to come up with mutually agreed-upon rules of the road before handing over the keys to the car. Available with teen driving laws for each state.

After you are done with the coaching piece, sign the Parent – Teen Agreement and hold each other accountable.

 

BONUS –> Three key steps that parents can take to keep their teens safer on the road:

  • Drive with their teen at least 30 minutes a week, especially in the first year after they are fully licensed.
  • Get familiar with their state Graduated Driving License laws. These laws can help them set their own rules of the road for their teen.
  • Model good driving behavior on the road by putting away cellphones, buckling up and obeying speed limits.

 

If you find any value in this post, please share it with the people you love… you just never know, you may be saving lives.

Visit –> http://www.TenYearsofDrivingChange.com and follow the #GetThereSafe hashtags for more info.

Connect with them on social too…

 

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored safety campaign with DiMe Media and Allstate Foundation. However, all opinions and stories shared are my own

Parental Coaching Guide To Help Drive Change With Your Teens – #GetThereSafe