Parents' role on safe teen driving

Making driving safer for teens

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A string of deadly car wrecks killing more than a dozen teens in the United States have many people talking about improving safety for young lives behind the wheel.

Highway safety experts are calling out to parents of teen drivers to form safer habits behind the wheel.

Michael Doneff teaches local teens how to drive at his school in Myrtle Beach and he says it starts with leading by example.

"Show their son or daughter that they are good drivers. That they are patient, that they are doing the blind spot checks and so forth," explained Doneff. The Center For Disease Control (CDC) says parents have a major influence over their kids driving behavior. Doneff agrees, so much so, he has a segment in his course where teens' parents have to participate.

The CDC says parents should talk to their kids about the biggest risks they face on the roads.One of the leading causes of teens crashing is another teen inside the car. Sunday morning, a fatal crash in Ohio claimed the lives of six teens who were all inside the same SUV.

The time of day young drivers get behind the wheel can add to their risk of crashing as well. Teens are twice as likely to get into a fatal crash at nighttime. The CDC recommends parents review state teen driving laws. They're designed to reduce some of these risks.

Doneff says he reviews South Carolina laws with this students, and he encourages parent to set their own rules too.

"We give the parents a contract, with the students with what times they can drive, how many passengers, with what time they have to be home. No drug no alcohol involved."

Doneff started using the parent-teen driving contracts about a year ago. He says so far many parents have said it's very helpful in enforcing safe driving habits.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.