For a teenager who is a newly minted driver, there is nothing like the newfound freedom that comes with being able to drive. Gone are the days of depending on mom or dad to get from Point A to Point B. This means that hanging out with friends at the mall or going to football games will be so much easier.

However, with this new freedom comes a sense of responsibility. It is especially important for teens to exhibit safe driving habits given that young drivers are the most at risk of losing their lives in car accidents. Given the propensity for young drivers to drive aggressively (and recklessly) it is critical that parents engage in open, frank conversations about the dangers that come with irresponsible choices while driving. 

In addition to having genuine conversations, it is critical for parents to walk the walk while talking the talk. Why is this? Despite what your kids may think about your sense of fashion, music and movies, they are still watching you. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that teen drivers are less likely to engage in distracted driving habits if they see their parents being responsible.

After all, what kind of credibility can a parent carry when they are doing the very things that they discourage their kids from doing? In these situations, “do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t carry much weight. So if you are trying to encourage your teen driver to be safe while behind the wheel, be sure that you are doing the same thing.