Street Safe Teens: Common Myths About Teen Drivers

Teen drivers have a new online tool to help them become safer on the road. (MGN)
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- The Partners for Safe Teen Driving released an article talking about some of the most common myths about teen driving habits and we took a look at them.

Myth 1: Parents Have Little Influence Over Their Teens' Driving Habits.

Marcie Llera, owner of Taylor’s Auto Body Shop, said; "I would say that is false, even though it's probably true. But, depending on the child, I feel like most kids do pay attention to what their parents say. I know with my personal experience, or my kids with me working in the industry I work in, they definitely took my advice. One of my kids drives more like me and the other drives more like my husband, so I feel like that definitely plays a part."

Mike Arnold, a Nationwide Insurance agent, said; "I would definitely consider that a myth, because teen drivers are going to imitate the behavior that their parents exhibit when their driving. So, as those teen drivers, long before they got their permits and licenses, they've watched their parents drive and if they see them roll through a stop sign, or exceed the speed limit, or do other things that could be considered distracted driving, their going to imitate that so as with all things in life we as parents can set an example."

Myth 2: Teens Who Are Above-Average Students Will Be Safe Drivers.

Llera said, "I would say that that's true. Most children that focus on their grades usually focus on other parts of their life to be safe with. They think about their futures, and when they think about their futures, to me, that means they're thinking about their safety as well."

Arnold said, "It's a little bit of both. Most insurance companies will offer a discount for a good student, a good student driver discount, and it rewards those steady habits and responsibility. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that a good student won't develop bad driving habits."

Myth 3: Most Teen-Related Crashes and Fatalities are Caused by Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol.

Llera said, "I would say that that's probably false, and the only reason I say that is because there are so many distractions now with teen driving. With cellphones and with kids in the car, there's just so many distractions with kids and driving. To me, that's probably more so than the drugs and the alcohol."

Arnold said, "Actually, the information that I have been given by The Virginia State Police and Mr. Richard Wharam, whose the retired coordinator for the Albemarle County Driver Education program, for the use in our seminar that we do every semester at Fluvanna County High School, is that distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents in teen drivers. Driving under the influence is obviously a serious problem, but as far as numbers the information they have provided me that we inform the parents in these seminars, it's actually distracted driving."

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