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Here’s one more reason why grandparents rock – according to a new study, it’s safer for kids to ride with grandparents than it is with their own parents.
Researched under the supervision of Dr. Fred Henretig, a physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, this study found that grandparents were safer drivers than parents. This is especially true in the case of injuries sustained in car accidents – the study shows that a child being injured in an auto accident were 50 percent less when a grandparent was driving.
“More of the baby boomers are coming into grandparenthood now, and this important group of drivers of young children hadn’t really been looked at critically,” said Dr. Henretig. “Grandparents were a little bit less up-to-date on child restraints, but we discovered that the injury rate was lower in grandparent driver crashes.”
When the study started, researchers believed that because of older vehicles and newly adopted safety measures, kids wouldn’t be as safe while driving with their grandparents. Now, imagine what would happen if grandparents could be current on child restraints – kids would be even safer while driving with them. As it stands now, about three out of every four grandparents were using “optimal” child restraints.
A new study says that parents are even more important then ever when it comes to teaching their teens to drive. The report goes on to state that parents are not giving their teenagers enough experience behind the wheel before they get their license, especially in challenging situations – this includes driving in bad weather, at night, on highways or in heavy traffic.
In the study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly half of parents reported that after the yearlong learner’s stage, there was at least one condition that they were not comfortable letting their teenagers to drive in on their own. Even though this was reported to be the case, more than one-third of parents still allowed their teens to get licenses within a month of being eligible.
In the U.S., teenagers have the highest crash rate of any age group. It has been found that the most dangerous time is when they drive on their own during the first few years after being licensed.
“The goal is to get people to realize how serious a situation it is,” said Peter Kissinger, president and chief executive of the foundation, a non-profit research and educational organization.
The study, which was conducted by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, was based on analysis of driving patterns of 50 families in North Carolina. During this study, cameras were installed in their vehicles for four months right after the teenagers obtained their learner permits. During the yearlong period, parents were interviewed 10 times.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there had been little scientific research on what parents actually do while supervising their teen’s driving. Thanks to this study, they found that most common form of parental instruction (in 54 percent of the clips), had to do with the handling the vehicle (“you need to slow down”). These instructions were often stressful and emotionally charged. Instructions such as visual scanning or anticipating the actions of other driver, was found in just 5 percent of clips.
[Source: The New York Times]