Adolescents learn a lot from their parents — from their first steps to their first words. These are typically lessons provided by mom or dad. Another skill they pick up on? Driving. A new study from Toyota and the University of Michigan shows that parents are the number-one influence on teen drivers — and that isn’t necessarily a good thing.
According to Dr. Tina Sayer, principal engineer at Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center:
The things that we do, whether it’s eating, drinking, fiddling with the radio, even if we’re angry at other drivers, those kinds of things are things that those children in the back seat are absorbing even when they’re young.
They may seem like they’re not paying attention, but research shows that those memories stick. Since car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S., it’s important for parents to monitor their kids’ driving skills, even after they are old enough to not have them in the car.
In an interview with MetroNews, Sayer suggests parents’ continue to check in, explaining, “We just need to check in with them just to make sure that they are following the rules of the road as well as the rules of the family, of the kind of things that we want to see in our teens.”
For more about teen health, well-being, and life skills, be sure to check out Choices magazine. Click here to learn more!