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When should parents talk to kids about teen driving?

Some parents are a bit unsure of when they should address certain issues with their children. The dangers of teen driving is one such topic, and it should never fall by the wayside. It's important for parents to talk to their teenage sons and daughters to prevent car accidents.

Summertime, in particular, is a good time to address it. In Tennessee and all over the country, the summer months are the most deadly time for teen car crashes. In fact, AAA and Volvo have dubbed the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day as "The 100 Deadliest Days" for teen drivers.

Seven of the 10 deadliest days for teenage motorists are in that time period. In 2010, the top four deadliest months were August, July, May and June, in that order, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. And every day in this country, an average of 11 teenagers die in crashes. It's still the leading cause of death for that age group.

So, what can be done? Graduated licensing laws have helped, and parents may want to reference these when they have "the conversation" with their teens about driving safety. The talk could actually be a series of conversations, according to a prevention specialist, and could include a range of topics such as speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving.

The latter category is a particular worry for many. A recent study backed up the common theory that teenage drivers get into more accidents when there are other teens riding in the car as passengers.

A conversation about driving could take place when a teen gets a learner's permit. The earlier, the better.

Source: USA Today, "Parents urged to talk, make contact with their teen drivers," Larry Copeland, May 13, 2012

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