Attention Parents: Setting Strict Driving Rules for Kids is a “Public Health Issue”


Appropriate parenting and monitoring of your teenager’s driving behavior can avert him/her from becoming a statistic. A recent study by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia revealed that “Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, killing more than 5,000 each year”.

With more kids owning cars and having free access to use cars, a sense of entitlement that they can take a car on their own makes them less cautious and more susceptible to dangerous driving and accidents.  The study found that “70 percent of teenagers said they had their own cars or were the main drivers of cars they used” – a clear indication in the rise of teenagers driving and the impending risks on road.

“Among these “main” drivers, 25 percent had been involved in crashes, versus just 10 percent of teens who shared driving access with family members” – emphasizing that better parental control on access to vehicles has positive results.

Plus, the habit of using cell phones while driving means less focus on traffic and more chances for careless accidents. Requiring teenagers to abide by a clear set of rules, including no talking on cell phones or texting while driving, as well as restricting access to the car, can have a big impact on reducing the number of suffering parents.

“With teen drivers, you have to recognize that it’s a public health issue,” said Dr. Jeffrey Weiss, a physician in Phoenix who co-wrote the report.

This trend may attract the insurance industry to tailor new insurance models. In a previous article, “Ground-breaking Incentives: Start-up Health Plan Rewards Members for Prevention”, we mentioned how SeeChange offers people taking preventative measures with innovative insurance benefits. It wouldn’t be surprising to see health plans coming up with similar products based on the results of the above mentioned study.

Check this National News article in the Insurance Journal for better details on the study.


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