New poll shows parents cracking down on teen drivers

A new poll from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital shows a growing number of parents are putting restrictions on their teenage drivers.

  • 85% require the teen to park before using a cell phone.
  • 40% of parents don’t allow any teen passengers in the vehicle.
  • 61% do not allow teens to drive after 10 pm.

What’s interesting is that when teens were asked about the restrictions, many claimed they did not know about the restrictions.

“What we found is that many parents want to, or intend to, put rules in place to keep their children safe. But in a good 10 to 20 percent of the cases, when a parent thinks a rule is in place the teen feels like 'the rule doesn’t apply to me',” said,  Dr. Matt Davis, of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

Davis said parents also have to be conscious about not setting a bad example by using a phone while the family is in the car. “And that’s not just for teens. Your younger children are also watching you while you do that. And it’s never too early to start teaching your teens and young children what’s healthy and safe behind the wheel.”

Davis also recommended having a family rule that applies the same requirements to both parents and children. Also, to go over those rules on a regular basis.

Mott Children’s Hospital has partnered with Kohl’s for the Drive Smart Program. Davis called it a "great resource for teens and parents, “ Davis said.

The program also includes a contract that is signed by both the teen driver and the parents.