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Simple steps found to reduce risky driving among teenagers

For high school students, few things are more exciting than earning the privilege to drive. At the same time, however, teenage drivers have a reputation for making less-than-proactive decisions while behind the wheel. Even momentary slips in judgment can have very serious consequences.

A new study released by the Governors Highway Safety Association reveals the role parents can play in reducing behaviors that often contribute to car accidents involving teens. Researchers found that parents who set basic ground rules for driving and monitor their child's driving habits in a supportive way can go a long way in reducing unsafe tendencies.

To be specific, the study found that teenage drivers are 71 percent less likely to drink and drive when their parents create rules. This obviously can translate to a reduction in alcohol-related crashes.

The same steps can also influence teens to use their cell phones less often. For many teens who are accustomed to using their mobile devices at essentially every moment of the day, setting expectations can be an important way to promote safety for all drivers.

Of course, efforts to promote safety among inexperienced drivers are very important. When parents do what they can to ensure that their children are being safe and abiding by Kentucky traffic regulations, everyone on the road is safer for it.

Parents can play a role in shaping healthy behaviors, but drivers -- no matter how old they are -- are ultimately responsible for acting with caution. Accident victims who are injured as the result of negligent behavior may have the ability to pursue compensation through a civil suit.

Source: Forbes, "Teens With Parents Who Set Driving Rules 71% Less Likely To Drive Drunk, GHSA Says," Tanya Mohn, Oct. 22, 2013

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