Keeping your child safe on the road: The parental factor in adolescent reckless driving

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Adolescents, especially young men, typically take risks which are liable to endanger their health and well being, and in the case of risky driving, might even lead to death. In this chapter, potential contributors to such behavior are discussed with the focus on two main aspects: the young driver's own perspective, and the parents' part in this dynamic. From the young driver's perspective, driving is much more than moving from one place to another. It also entails a host of psychological benefits, such as experiencing sensations, feeling mature and capable, enhancing self-esteem, and enabling experimentation with technical equipment. Moreover, risky driving is affected by risk perceptions, as well as by personality characteristics such as sensation seeking, impulsivity, and aggressiveness. Parents also play an important role in adolescents' driving, as they constitute the youngsters' major long-term relationship. Parents not only educate their children, but also serve as a model, and in addition are responsible for controlling and monitoring their teenager's driving behavior. Indeed, the parent-child relationship has been found to constitute a major predictor of young drivers' tendency for risky driving. There is hope in these findings, as the initial period of adolescent driving might be an opportunity for a global familial change whereby greater attention is paid to safety and parents assume responsibility for fostering a good relationship with their offspring and modeling safe driving behaviors, thus increasing the safety of everyone on the road.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTraffic Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationAn International Perspective
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781616688462
StatePublished - 2011


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