Passing on driving habits

Teens Pick Up Parents Bad Driving Habits

Almost one-third of parents responding to a survey feel that they have passed their own bad driving habits on to their teens. The study, conducted in the Canadian province of British Columbia, showed that 29 percent of parents feel their teen is practicing the same bad driving behaviors that they themselves are guilty of.

Modeling Your Behavior

Any parent who has let a bad word escape their lips only to hear their toddler immediately repeat it can easily understand that kids tend to copy their parents behaviors. However, many parents fail to realize that their child has been observing their driving behaviors since they were in a child seat and it shouldn’t be surprising that their teen would also copy their bad driving behaviors. When training a teen to drive, it isn’t enough to say “Do as I say – not as I do!” If you want your teen to be a safe driver, you have to model the same type of safe driving behavior yourself.

Changing Bad Habits

Teens have no tolerance for hypocritical behavior in adults. If you know some of your driving behaviors (such as speeding or trying to beat a yellow light) aren’t safe, you need to get rid of those bad habits and then, let your child know you are making a conscious effort to change your driving behavior and why. A child will take that lesson to heart more easily if you are honest in your evaluation of your driving habits and the reasons for changing them.

If you need more help, consider voluntarily attending a driving school. There, you can hear safe driving tips and gain a better understanding of how your driving habits could lead to a crash. You can also pick up information on new traffic laws that you may not be aware of.