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What can parents do to reduce teen crashes?

There are many reasons why teens are some of the most dangerous drivers on the roads. Not all of those factors are something you can do anything about. For example, it's difficult to give a teen more driving experience when he or she has only had a few months on the road, just as there is little you can do to reduce the risk of riding with passengers.

It is important to talk to your teen or teens about the dangers of their inexperience and other factors when they're behind the wheel, though. Driver inexperience can lead to accidents that otherwise may never have happened, which is why your teen needs to take as much time as necessary to learn from you.

As a parent, it's your responsibility to make sure your teen is prepared to drive and to do so safely. Talk to him or her about the importance of staying focused on the road. Eating, talking on the phone or driving while tired or intoxicated are all risks he or she should not take. They can lead to crashes that could cost them their lives.

You can help prevent teen crashes by spending at least 30 to 50 hours with your teen in the vehicle. This practice time should go on for at least six months, so you can see how your teen learns and grows as a driver over time. Always practice at different times of day and in varied weather conditions.

Your teen's life and skills as a driver rely on your assistance. Take the time now, and you could be saving lives and preventing legal messes later.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers," accessed June 30, 2017

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