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J Safety Res. 2003 Jan;34(1):91-7.

How well do parents manage young driver crash risks?

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Prevention Research Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 6100 Executive Boulevard, 7B05, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510, USA.


Motor vehicle crashes are extremely high among young drivers during at least the first year of licensure. Crash risks decline with increased experience, but the more newly licensed teenagers drive, the greater their risk exposure. Hence, the dilemma facing policy makers and parents is how to provide young drivers with driving experience without unduly increasing their crash risk. Graduated driver licensing policies serve to delay licensure and then limit exposure to the highest risk conditions after licensure, allowing young drivers to gain experience only under less risky driving conditions. A similar strategy is needed to guide parents. Parents do not appear to appreciate just how risky driving is for novice drivers and tend to exert less control over their teenage children's driving than might be expected. Recent research has demonstrated that simple motivational strategies can persuade parents to adopt driving agreements and impose greater restrictions on early teen driving.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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