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Are parents being clear when setting limits for teen drivers?

Posted on January 25, 2016

When learning any new task, a person can sometimes end up unclear on certain things about the task. When these things are safety-related, it can cause real problems. This is particularly the case when the new task a person is learning is driving, as confusion by a new driver over what constitutes safe driving could lead to a new driver engaging in conduct that creates major accident risks.

Many people learn to drive in their teenage years. Thus, how clear teens are on what is and isn’t safe driving can have some major ramifications when it comes to how safe the roads are. Given this, it is very important for parents of teen drivers to help keep things clear for teens when it comes to how they should be acting when driving.

One thing this can involve is parents setting clear limits for their teens regarding driving.

recent study indicates that setting driving restrictions for their teens is something many parents do. The study found that around 90 percent of parents polled in a survey said they put some sort of driving-related restrictions on their teens. Things the surveyed parents reported putting restrictions on their teen drivers regarding include: cellphone use, texting, when they could drive, where they could drive and what passengers they could have.

However, the study also found that it was not as common for teens to think that their parents had put driving limits on them as it was for parents to think they had set such limits. Only about 81 percent of surveyed teens reported being subject to driving restrictions by their parents.

This disparity in percentages raises questions as to how clear parents are being when setting driving limits for their teens. This is potentially quite troubling, given how important clarity is when setting such limits. If teens aren’t actually clear on whether their parents are putting driving restrictions on them and what driving rules their parents are putting in place, it could greatly impact the ability of the rules/restrictions to actually have their intended effects, such as the effect of making the teens clear on how they are supposed to act when driving.

What do you think are some of the clarity pitfalls parents are most vulnerable to when it comes to setting driving restrictions for their teens? In your opinion, what are the best ways to avoid these pitfalls?