HUGE Teen Driving Revelations

Psst…if you are a parent, lean in close.

Dim your screen…don’t let anyone see what you’re reading…

Especially your teens.

I heard this BIG news story on several channels on Monday so I had to do a little online research and share these revelations with you!

Two new studies confirm fewer crashes among teens with supportive parents and clear rules.

Did you get the two revelations in that sentence?

Let’s review (for my teen readers – who happen to be my kids)…

1. Supportive Parents

Teen Translation: Nagging “in-your-business” parents who ask you things like “Where are you going?”

My personal favorite annoying question that I know my children will attest to…”Who is riding in what car?”

2. Clear Rules

Teen Translation: Annoying, stupid things your nagging parents repeat hundreds of times before you are 18.

My personal favorite rule “Tell us your plans, destination(s) and passengers before you leave and don’t change them after you leave the house.”

Seems super clear to me but the darling twins still have a hard time with this one.

What I really wanted to find out was how much these new studies cost???

WHY OH WHY didn’t they just call me?

And a few other strict, not-fun parents like me?

Oh, that’s right – we are hard to find because we are almost extinct.

One of my most favorite lines from a Fox news affiliate

They also found that teenagers who have to ask to use the car were more likely to wear their seat belts and not talk on their cell phones.

I added the bold emphasis.

HAVE TO ASK TO USE THE CAR?!!

Oops, sorry, don’t mean to SCREAM but are there really still parents MAKING their kids ASK TO USE THE CAR?

Thanks for letting me rant.

Because as I have admitted before, I have issues…

About parents who are more worried about their kids being popular and their kids liking them than of the seriousness of giving our teenagers a bright, new, shiny car but none of the responsibility that goes with it.

This is the magnet I purchased and made the kids drive around with when they were learning to drive. Kept one in the trunk of each car.

teendrivermagnet

Yes, I am that parent.

I prayed a lot. But I also remember thinking if the message on that magnet makes just one impatient, tailgating, honking, rude driver stop and realize that a new young driver was at the wheel in front of them, then the magnet was effective.

We also paid for private driving lessons with a veteran police officer and driver’s education instructor who came highly recommended. He made a tremendous difference in their confidence level and spent some serious time teaching them how to handle the big metal weapon car in scary situations.

So in case you didn’t know until now, it’s official…

Firm Parents Keep Drivers Safe

In all seriousness, if you are a parent and did all the right things and suffered the loss of a teen, I send my heartfelt sympathy. Sometimes, accidents really are accidents. I’m certain that the devastation and heartbreak never goes away.

If you have a teen learning to drive and you need some help and guidelines, here is more info about the study:

Parenting Teen Drivers

On the heels of two studies published in the journal Pediatrics, the Young Driver Research Initiative (YDRI) has developed a comprehensive report of recently published research providing evidence-based recommendations for teen driver safety practitioners and parents that may reduce teen crash risk. It’s called Driving Through the Eyes of Teens, A Closer Look. A set of fact sheets and a webpage including expert advice have also been created to help parents enhance their skills to help teens safely navigate the first years of driving.

I’m grateful I got the first three to 18+ but as usual, the study, the book, the manual, the instruction guide, etc., etc., came out just after I needed it and I had to just use common sense and “go with my gut.”

I know I take this all a little personally. Must be the coma and head injury.

Ridiculous mother. Unreasonable rules. Uncool and politically (and socially) incorrect. Not their best friend.

Yes, I am that mother.

And this is not an apology.

sdhsig1.gif

One year ago..

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Comments

  1. 1
    Peggy says:

    Brett started Driver’s Ed on Monday of this week! She has yet to be behind the wheel but will get her permit on 10-17 (the day she turns 15). We are, again, nervous. How did you find the private drivers ed teacher? I don’t think we probably have anyone like that around here. Things have changed since we took driver’s ed. It used to be a regular class during school hours- now it’s before school for about a month and an all day on one Sat.
    Now, let’s all pray we make it through with this one!

    • 1.1
      Sherra says:

      @Peggy–No kidding things have changed since we both learned how to drive on country roads in small town USA! Like how many more cars there are on the road (and for me the traffic issue is ridiculous!). I forgot to share that in Georgia when my teens were learning, Driver’s Ed was NOT required and parents were allowed to teach them. Which was all the more reason to have the private driving lessons! A neighbor told us about the police officer and I’m sure there are people there too. Ask around and check the yellow pages. Oops, I mean google. Yellow pages are defunct aren’t they? Praying for you and Brett during this new phase of fun!!

  2. 2
    Joanne says:

    Sherra have I told you lately that I love you???? My children are only 6 and 8 but I am also that parent. And I often fell alone until I read your blog. I have friends and even siblings who think I’m insanely strict. The kids go to bed at a decent hour for their age and on time. Even most weekends unless it’s a special occassion. Homework is done BEFORE playtime and they eat what I put on the table (there is PB&J in the cupboard if the newest recipe is unfit for wild animals or I’ve caused another oven fire.) They don’t get to watch violent movies, cartoons or tv shows – they are 6 and 8! At each step these people tell me “Wait until they get to be XX age. Then you wont’ have as much say.” So far, I’ve proven them wrong and I plan on continuing in my wild ways as the uncool, incorrect mom. Thanks for being a beacon, a laugh and for providing me with info I can use in the future!

    • 2.1
      Sherra says:

      @Joanne–Can I tell you how much your sweet comment means? It’s such a nice feeling to know that someone besides my mom, my kids and my 5 or 6? friends read the blog. {tiny lol} You are not alone but the parent peer pressure of being a fun, cool parent is real and adds stress to an already stressful job! Being an uncool mom puts you in the minority in many circles. I’m hoping by the time they are in their 30’s I can have confirmation that I’m doing the right things. Until then, I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. Hang in there you keep doing what you’re doing and we can compare notes! 🙂

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