PACT for Safe Driving

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Parents need to take a more active role in helping their teens become safe drivers, according to the Ohio branch of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Ohio AAP recently launched the PACT for Safe Driving, which encourages parents to sign contracts with their children about the family's driving rules. The contracts, which are available online at http://www.ohioaap.org/teendriving, help families set guidelines for teen drivers.

The contract outlines what times of day and night the teen can drive, how many passengers he or she can have and what types of weather the teen can drive in. The contract recommends that parents require teens to put their cellphones in the glove compartment while driving. It also allows parents to tie driving privileges to the student's grades.

Early research has shown that contracts can play a role in decreasing crashes and traffic violations among teens, according to the Ohio AAP. More than 40 percent of all deaths of people aged 16 to 20 are the result of motor vehicle crashes. Each year, about 450,000 teens nationwide are injured in car crashes.

The website also offers information about the state's driving laws and teen driving risks.