As many students prepare for a fall break, more teen drivers could be hitting the roadways soon – after the COVID-19 pandemic put up some roadblocks for young people learning the rules of the road.
A survey found that most parents of teen drivers have been worried about their kids’ safety behind the wheel – but many are taking extra steps to make sure the young drivers are prepared.
Tricia Morrow, a Chevrolet safety engineer, and her daughter took full advantage of the less-crowded streets to practice important maneuvers, such as parallel parking.
“In the last several months she’s been driving to work and school,” Morrow said. “We have discussed how traffic patterns have changed since before the pandemic and new experiences she has on the road. I think it is really important to keep talking about safe driving.”
Chevrolet recently worked with The Harris Poll to survey more than 1,000 parents of school-aged children to discover how the pandemic affected their driving skills and the new realities that teen drivers face.
Nearly half of parents with a driving-aged child said their child experienced a delay in becoming a licensed driver during the pandemic.
And, as more teen drivers prepare to be on the road this school year, the survey shows most teens and new drivers will be in the vehicle without adult supervision. The survey also showed:
- 61% of parents are concerned about their teen on the road because of lost practice time due to the pandemic.
- 78% of parents worry when their child is on the road because other drivers seem more unsafe than before the pandemic.
- 73% of parents report to notice more aggravated drivers on the road than before the pandemic.
“As a safety engineer I know that wearing your seat belt is the most important click of the day – it is the number one action you can take to protect yourself in a crash,” Morrow said. She suggested other parents start teaching kids when they are young, and never stop teaching.
“Always wear your seat belt, follow posted speeds and keep your phones DOWN. Talk to your kids about the importance of safe driving. If they are like my daughter, they are listening… just make sure their headphones are not in.”