CHAMPLIN, Minn., June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Fifty percent of teen drivers will have a motor vehicle accident with the first six months of earning their license. That disturbing statistic has not budged in decades, despite vehicle safety improvements and a greater emphasis on responsible driving. A group of concerned adults recently decided to take action and implement a new approach to driving instruction. (http://www.drivesaferidesafe.com/#) Their efforts have culminated in the release of the instructional DVD, "Roadworthy: A Parent's Guide to Teaching Teens to Drive – 12 Lessons to Keep Your Teen Alive Behind the Wheel."
The "Roadworthy" DVD features valuable insight from experienced accident investigator Mike Pehl. His approach stresses the value of practice and parental involvement. Too often, young drivers with their learner's permits only care about getting the legally required amount of practice before earning their license. Busy parents, meanwhile, fall into the trap of thinking that state lawmakers know best, and they absolve themselves of responsibility for their teens' driving behavior.
"Inexperience is the number one reason kids are crashing today," says Pehl. "If the state requires 30 hours of driving with a permit, I recommend tripling or quadrupling that number. Parents are responsible for making this happen. Teens shouldn't get a license if their parents are not 100% sure of their ability to drive safely and responsibly."
The makers of "Roadworthy" believe that parents can and should take more ownership of their teens' driving behavior. Moms and dads need to educate themselves about the best methods for practice-driving. Parents can also enforce family rules that are stricter than any state driving laws. They can even take away licenses, if necessary. After all, keeping children safe from harm is more important than keeping them happy. Pehl tells parents: "I get your kids for six hours of behind-the-wheel; you get them for life!"
Pehl also recommends driver's education classes for fledgling drivers. However, a few hours of driver's education doesn't mean parents are off the hook. Instead, the combined method of pro-active parenting, instructional courses, and plenty of real-world practice is the surest way to turn out drivers who aren't a danger to themselves or others. The DVD even includes tips on how to be a good passenger.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents among young people. Being a good passenger – one who doesn't cause distractions for the person behind the wheel – is nearly as important as being a good driver. That's why the makers of "Roadworthy" suggest strategies that will help teenagers be conscious of road conditions even when they're in the passenger seat.
Ultimately, the most important factor in turning teenagers into safe drivers is their parents. "I don't think parents are afraid enough!" says Pehl. "They think, 'This is an easy thing, the kids go to driver's education and away we go.' Parents too often don't realize that their involvement is incredibly important, and that this can be life-or-death for their son or daughter."
The "Roadworthy" DVD is available for purchase at the Drive Safe Ride Safe website: http://www.drivesaferidesafe.com/#.
About Drive Safe Ride Safe
The team behind the Drive Safe Ride Safe website and the "Roadworthy" DVD shares a passion for saving young lives. In addition to safety expert Mike Pehl, the team is made up of Kelly Cusick and Jayne Ubl.
Drive Safe Ride Safe
PO Box 488
Champlin, MN 55316