All children inherit certain qualities from their parents. Some of these are physical traits, like the color of their eyes or how tall they will grow, but children can also inherit learned traits that they’ve been exposed to and have picked up from their parents. It may surprise you to hear that your driving habits can also be inherited by your children, especially if they are impressionable and young teen drivers.
Are Your Driving Habits Impacting Your Teen?
There have been several studies conducted to determine if a parental figure’s driving behavior can be used as a predictor of a child’s future driving ability. Consistently, these studies have demonstrated that there is a correlation between a parents’ skills on the road and their offspring’s ability.
Therefore, when thinking about the question of, does your driving habits impact the kids in your household, the answer is yes. = There is still more research that is being conducted to pinpoint why that is, However, it is believed that because your children will spend the most time with you in the car, your safe driving habits, as well as your bad driving habits, will leave an impression on your passengers that can become learned habits they inherit down the road.
Set an Example
It’s always good advice to set an example for your kids, especially when your behavior on the road could impact teen drivers. One study conducted by Students Against Destructive Decisions revealed that 60 percent of high school students believe their parents are the biggest influence on their driving ability. The same study found that these students believed speeding, talking, and texting on their phones, and skipping their seatbelts were safe behaviors.
As a parent, you can set a good example as a driver for your children by monitoring your own driving habits and correcting any unsafe behaviors whenever you or your teenager are behind the wheel.
Good Habits to Pass On
1. Defensive driving – It is important for everyone on the road to learning defensive driving. Defensive driving skills will help both you and your child in tricky situations when your time to react is short.
2. Maintaining proper braking distance – Giving yourself plenty of time to stop, especially when the weather is rainy or snowy, is always a good habit to practice.
3. Follow traffic laws – This one might seem like a no brainer, but sometimes it’s easy to forget! Remember to use your turn signals, follow the flow of traffic, and check for pedestrians.
Bad Habits to Let Go
1. Texting – We all know it’s bad to text and drive, and yet, somehow, we find ourselves looking at our phones whenever there’s a red light. Resist the urge to peek at your notifications till you reach your destination.
2. Driving Distracted – Your phone isn’t the only thing that can distract you when you’re driving. Minimize distractions such as loud music, eating or drinking while you’re driving, or doing makeup in the mirror. It will be much safer for you and your passengers if you do not engage in distracted driving behaviors.
3. Speeding – It is so, so easy to speed up. And if you have a lead foot, you might not even realize you are doing it! Monitor your speed when you’re behind the wheel so you are always aware of how fast your car is traveling. Make sure to closely follow posted speed limit signs whether on the highway or passing through a construction zone.
We hope you these tips help you feel equipped to get behind the wheel when your children are in the backseat. As always, we wish you safety in all your travels.