They need to teach their children how to drive in various highway conditions.
Smart teen driving starts with the parents. That's according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
"By in large, everyone recognizes that it's very important to teens have a lot of practice behind the wheel. In fact, this study shows that nearly half of parents feel that way when asked about their teens' driving," says Ragina Averella, Public and Government Affairs Manager, AAA Mid-Atlantic. "However, on the flip side of that, only one in four parents mentioned practicing with their young driver under a variety of circumstances."
Some of those circumstances include heavy traffic, bad weather and unfamiliar roads. "So we certainly encourage parents to be engaged, and to give their teens that practice when the benefit and the wisdom of having their parent in the car with them," Averella says.
She also says few parents instruct their children on complex driving tips, such as visual screening or anticipating other drivers' behaviors.
This is National Teen Driver Safety Week. The theme for this year is: "It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving."
In addition to instructing teens on driving in difficult and complicated situations, Averella says it's important for parents to be good role models when they get behind the wheel. "Don't engage in distracted driving behaviors at that time, talking on the cell phones, hands free or hand held," she says.
Maryland law makes talking on a hand held cell phone a primary offense. But talking on a hands-free devices is not illegal.
AAA also says other ways parents can be good role models are obeying the speed limit, and not driving aggressively.