Lisa Johnson Foundation


 
 
CONTACT US | SITE MAP

Ask the Experts

News and Events

Take Charge Families

Donations

Partners

Raise Funds

Courageous Survivors

Driving Plan

About us

 
Home
About Us
Take Charge Families
Act on the facts driving plan
Ask the Experts
Courageous Survivors
What's Your Parenting Style?
Teen Correspondent
News and Events
Donations
Raise Funds
Contact Us
End

 

MEET THE EXPERTS

MDA logoRichard and Maria Wojtczak are the founders of DrivingMBA™, a revolutionary experiential driver-tutoring program that uses technology to respond to changes in our culture regarding driving issues. Richard and Maria combined their expertise to develop the DrivingMBA program. . . . . More

Dr Kenney Dr. Lynne Kenney is a consulting psychologist with North Scottsdale Pediatrics where she works on a multi-disciplinary pediatric team coaching families to live with health and wellness. Dr. Kenney earned her Doctorate in Psychology from Pepperdine University in 1992. . . . More

 










 

 

ASK THE EXPERTS Q & A

1. Should my new teen driver have their own car?
2. What are the best vehicles for a new teen driver?
3. What about car devices that monitor teen driving habits?
4. What are the teen driving laws in my state?
5. Can you help me find the nearest Motor Vehicle Division?
6. Is a family driving plan really necessary?
7. What is Graduated Driver Licensing?
8. How do I know if my teen is ready to drive?
9. What are the biggest mistakes that parents make regarding their new teen drivers?
10. What are the most common teen driving mistakes?
11. Where can I get more driving information regarding a teen with special learning needs?

1. Should my new teen driver have their own car?
Every family is different. However, the need of every teenage driver remains the same; SAFETY is paramount. Convenience should not be the determining factor. If your teen demonstrates the maturity to discuss family driving rules and obey them, they may be responsible enough to help pay for and maintain their own vehicle. Caution is urged when purchasing a vehicle as a gift for your new teen driver. Entitlement, without personal responsibility, can be a dangerous mix.

2. What are the best vehicles for a new teen driver?
There are many factors to consider when purchasing a vehicle. Safety is the primary objective. Consider top causes of teen motor vehicle crashes: speed, passenger and phone distraction, inexperience and night driving. Avoid vehicles with high performance features which can promote speeding. Know the vulnerabilities of a sport utility vehicle in the hands of an inexperienced teen driver. While an SUV provides advantages with its size, its higher center of gravity causes a severe disadvantage in abrupt steering wheel maneuvers (over-correcting), leading to increased rollover crashes. Research the safety features and ratings on the vehicles you are considering. Helpful sites include:
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

3. What about car devices that monitor teen driving habits?
Some families choose to monitor their teens’ driving by installing devices such as Event Data Recorders or by using GPS satellite tracking services. Others enroll in subscription programs that forward voice and written driving incidents of teenage drivers via a bumper sticker number that concerned citizens can report. Families who monitor and track their teens in this way find it to be another tool in keeping their teens safe. They do not view it as displaying mistrust in their children. Rather, it answers questions regarding how well the teen driver has learned to keep themselves safe. It also provides the teenager with a tool to deal with peer pressure. They can say things like “I can’t go any faster because I’m being watched” or “This car has a tracking device so I can’t go there”. For an example, see Consumer Reports.org.

4. What are the teen driving laws in my state? The Governors Highway Safety Association offers a list of state teen driving laws http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/license_laws.html

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates each state on the effectiveness of teen driving laws http://www.iihs.org/laws/graduatedLicenseIntro.aspx

5. Can you help me find the nearest Motor Vehicle Division?
DMV.org offers help in locating the nearest Motor Vehicle Division http://www.dmv.org/

6. Is a family driving plan really necessary?
A family driving plan, often referred to as a driving contract, is an important safety tool. A driving plan holds both teen and parent accountable. Driving expectations are written and agreed upon before driving begins. The driving plan is an excellent safety tool if it is reviewed and followed consistently. There are many excellent driving plans available. The Lisa Johnson Foundation offers the Act on the Facts Driving Plan which addresses the top causes of teen motor vehicle crashes.

7. What is Graduated Driver Licensing?
To reduce the death rate among new teen drivers, Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws have been enacted in most states. Full driving privileges are phased in as a new driver gains experience. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety answers specific questions concerning Graduated Driver Licensing http://www.iihs.org/research/qanda/gdl.html

8. How do I know if my teen is ready to drive?
Since driving readiness is not dependent on chronological age, many other factors must be considered, such as interest in driving, age-appropriate maturity, responsibility in following rules, willingness to communicate with parents, academic success, physical limitations or special needs. A parent must also consider their own readiness to have their teen begin the driving process. Since it is a partnership, both teen and parent must be prepared and ready. It is often helpful to ask the advice of trusted friends and family. Their insights can provide needed guidance. However, pressure from others, or from your teen, to begin driving must never be the basis for making your decision. Weigh the evidence, follow your instincts and realize that once the driving process has begun it can always be temporarily halted, if needed.

9. What are the biggest mistakes that parents make regarding their new teen drivers?
The most dangerous mistake is to remove safety as the top priority. It is easy to become complacent over time, especially if things are going well. How does a parent know if safety is no longer the top priority? If they are no longer reviewing and following the rules of the family driving plan; if they are not following through on knowing who their teen is with and where they are at all times; if they are finding that they have a lot of extra time without their teen in the home; if they are not conversing with other parents regarding their teen’s safety; if convenience is placed before safety considerations. A common mistake is to “let go” too quickly. A teen needs to take steps toward independence, but when it comes to driving safety, caution is urged. Continue riding with your teen, schedule time to do an activity together, do not believe that your teen will be a social outcast if they stay home more often. As the leader, a parent needs to continually help their teen differentiate between what the teen wants and what they need.

10. What are the most common teen driving mistakes?
Due to inexperience, the most common mistakes of a new teen driver are over-correcting their vehicle and failure to scan what is happening in all directions. Inexperience when combined with speed, distraction by passengers or cell phones and driving at night, has caused the majority of teen motor vehicle crashes.

11. Where can I get more driving information regarding a teen with special learning needs?
Special needs, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, require special considerations. Since the risk for motor vehicle crashes is higher among these teen drivers, careful planning is needed. Helpful sites:
http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/ADHD/adhd-teenager.htm
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/948.html
http://adhd.kids.tripod.com/sitesorg.html
Motor Vehicle Divisions have made progress in accommodating such needs as oral testing. Contact your DMV to schedule. http://www.dmv.org/

 

Ask the Experts!

To view the experts’ answers to frequently asked questions or to ask the experts your own questions, log on to
Ask the Experts
.
Ask the Experts

"Driving is a life skill that needs to be approached with careful thought and planning. The risk of not approaching it that way is far too high. Our children's lives are at stake if we don't.”
-Maria Wojtczak, Driving MBA


“The most important thing to a teenager is his or her social life.  So you provide for social growth, within reason.  Friends can influence one another for better and for worse, so you monitor where your teen goes and with who at all times.  One lapse in judgment can be devastating, so you are there, prepared to help your teen be safe.”
-Dr. Lynne Kenney

 

 

 
 
  Privacy Policy     Terms of Use © 2008 Lisa Johnson Foundation