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6/22/2011 - Driving time brings parents, teens together

Experts say time spent teaching a teen to drive can be very beneficial.

Parents have found a new way to bond with their teenagers while fulfilling a state requirement at the same time.

As USA Today reports, the majority of states require license-seeking teens to drive under an adult's supervision for between 20 to 60 hours. Parenting experts say this is an avenue for parents to impart some of life's lessons.

"It's an ideal parenting situation," said Kenneth Ginsburg, an adolescent specialist in an interview with the paper. "Along comes something [i.e. driving] that they are totally new to, totally excited about and totally nervous about. [Parents] get a chance to be an ideal teacher and protector."

The time parents and their teens have together can not only strengthen familial ties, but also teens' competence behind the wheel. Researchers told the paper that parents can teach their teenagers the importance of paying attention behind the wheel, as a recent study from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found some of the most common driving errors result from distractions.

Making the most of this time may help, as teens are more likely to be involved in accidents resulting from distractions like cell phones. 

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