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Parental Predictors of Teen Driving Risk

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Objectives: To determine the nature and prevalence of parental involvement with teen driving and its relationship to teen driving risk. Methods: A statewide sample of 424 Maryland parents and their provisionally licensed teenagers were interviewed. Results: Parents were unaware of the extent to which their teens had engaged in high-risk traffic events, such as being distracted by friends or driving too fast. Teens who were allowed unsupervised access to a car at least several times a week were 3 times as likely to have driven too fast than were those who had access once a month or less. The frequency of parental teaching of driving skills was not strongly related to teen risk taking. Conclusion: The need to increase parents' capacity to impose and enforce driving restrictions on provisionally licensed teen drivers is indicated.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Health Education, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. 2: Driver Safety Research, Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, Glen Burnie, MD.

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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