Parent attitudes toward integrating parent involvement into teenage driver education courses

Jessica Hartos, David C. Huff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The widespread adoption of graduated driver licensing (GDL) policies has effectively reduced crash risk for young drivers; however, parents must support, reinforce, and enforce GDL for it to be effective, and research indicates that parents need better information and instruction for adhering to GDL requirements, conducting supervised practice driving, and restricting independent teenage driving. Because teenagers in most states must take driver education to enter the licensing process prior to age 18, integrating parent involvement into driver education may be an effective way to inform and instruct parents on a large scale about teen driver safety. This study assessed parent attitudes (overall and by rural status, minority status, and income level) toward integrating parent involvement into teenage driver education classes. Methods: In this study, 321 parents of teenagers enrolled in driver education classes across the state of Montana completed surveys about current involvement in driver education and attitudes toward required involvement. Results: The results indicated that parents were not very involved currently in their teenagers' driver education classes, but 76% reported that parents should be required to be involved. If involvement were required, parents would prefer having written materials sent home, access to information over the Internet, or discussions in person with the instructor; far fewer would prefer to attend classes or behind-the-wheel driving instruction. There were few differences in parent attitudes by rural or minority status but many by income level. Compared to higher income parents, lower income parents were more likely to endorse required parent involvement in teenage driver education classes and to want parent information from driver education about many teen driving issues. Conclusions: That the majority of parents are open to required involvement in their teenagers' driver education classes is promising because doing so could better prepare parents to understand and adhere to GDL policies, supervise teenagers' practice driving, and manage teen independent driving, all of which could further increase teen driver safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008

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Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Driver Education
  • Health Promotion
  • Injury Prevention
  • Parent Involvement
  • Teen Crash Risk

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