What parents can do
There is an opportunity here for parents to have more meaningful and constructive conversations about the dangers associated with marijuana and alcohol use and driving.
“Teens are faced with potentially destructive decisions everyday and don’t always make the best ones,” said Dave Melton, a driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual and managing director of global safety, in a written statement. Melton encouraged parents, mentors, role models and friends to “effectively communicate with them [teens] to ensure they are armed with the right information and aware of the dangers of marijuana and other substances, especially while driving.”
Liberty Mutual’s Greenberg told FamilyCarGuide that parents can and should get involved in conversations with their teens. “Marijuana and alcohol use is illegal. Parents can have a significant influence over this behavior by having open and honest conversations with their teens.
“Over the year, our studies show that teens who say their parents have established family driving rules and have set clear and mutually accepted consequences and rewards for driving behaviors are less likely to exhibit dangerous habits such as speeding and drinking and driving, and are more likely to have safe habits such as wearing their seat belts,” said Greenberg.
Liberty Mutual and SADD have partnered since the early 1990s on programs to help families stay safe behind the wheel. In 2000, the partnership broadened to include a regular research initiative aimed at examining teen attitudes and behaviors about driving, and using these findings to create tools such as the Parent-Teen Safe Driving Contract.
For more information on Liberty Mutual’s teen driving program and tips for parents on helping their teens become safe and responsible drivers, click here. More safety information is available from SADD here.