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Am J Prev Med. 2008 Sep;35(3 Suppl):S294-303. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.06.018.

Parenting and the young driver problem.

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Prevention Research Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/NIH, 6100 Executive Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Crash rates increase sharply at the age at which teenagers begin to drive and remain elevated relative to adult levels until drivers are well into their twenties. Parents have important roles to play in managing the risk for teenage drivers before and after licensure. Parents can be involved in their teenagers' driving, allowing them to test for permit and licensure, supervising practice driving, providing access to a vehicle, and setting and enforcing limits on driving privileges after licensure. However, the management practices of many parents may not be sufficient to provide safety effects. The literature indicates that the two most important decisions parents can make to reduce teenagers' driving risk are to delay licensure and impose limits on high-risk driving conditions (such as driving at night and with teenage passengers) during the first year of licensure. Two intervention programs have been shown to increase parental limit setting as a means of reducing risky driving behaviors and improving driving performance among novice teenage drivers. This article describes the contexts of and opportunities for parental involvement in teenage driving and the effectiveness of interventions to increase and improve parental management of young drivers.

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