Studies Say Parents Rules Make Teens Safer Drivers

09.25.09 | FL News Team

Parents who lay down the law can save their teen's life. That's the bottom line from two new studies that looked at teen drivers. Parents who controlled the car keys, enforced curfews and set rules about passengers and cell phone use saw dramatic improvements in driver safety. Teens with involved parents were 70-percent less likely to drive drunk, half as likely to speed and roughly a third less likely to use a cell phone or text and drive. Kids who drive their own car were found to be twice as likely to crash as those driving the family car.

Some 44-hundred teens died in car crashes in 2008, making it the leading cause of death for young people ages 16-20. Researchers recommend being firm but fair and explaining how the rules are designed to keep them safe. They also suggest rewarding teens with more car privileges as their driving skills improve. Both studies are published in the journal "Pediatrics."