It can be one of the most frightening periods of a parent’s life, a teenager getting a driver’s license.
But some safety advocate groups say instead of fear, parents may want to celebrate the special milestone.
That’s part of a new public education campaign to get parents more involved in teaching good driving behaviors.
Traffic crashes are still the number one killer among teenagers despite years of public education campaigns.
But a number of auto insurance companies and safety advocates say scare tactics may not be the best way to get through to teens.
Parental involvement may be one of the most important factors.
In about four months, Brandon Corum will be trading in his learner’s permit for a driver’s license.
"It's kind of scary, but it's also like a responsibility that I've been waiting to have for a really long time,” Corum said.
And for his mom Trisha, she’s feeling like most parents would.
"Scary, very nervous because you see things that happen everyday and there's so many more distractions for kids now a days,” Trisha said.
And they both have good reason to feel anxious.
According to the National Safety Council, about ten teens a day are killed in traffic accidents nationwide, mostly due to inexperience and distracted driving.
But auto insurance companies like State Farm are among a group of safety advocates promoting new ways of educating young drivers.
"Teenagers will tell you that their parents are their biggest influence on how they drive and what they've learned from previous experience driving with their parents,” said State Farm Agent Darlene Denison.
According to State Farm, when parents set good examples, teenagers are half as likely to be in a crash, nearly twice as likely to wear a seat belt and almost half as likely to speed.
It’s an idea the California Highway Patrol has used since 2003 in their own driver education program, Start Smart.
"We highly encourage parents to stay involved in their kid's driving careers. We encourage them to do weekly ride alongs or every other day go out with them to the store, watch how they drive in rush hour traffic,” said Robert Rodriguez with the CHP.
For moms like Trisha, she says if she wants Brandon to be a good driver, that starts with how she drives.
"Kids learn from what they see and a lot of times that's where it sticks. They see their parents on the phone texting, they're going to think its fine, they do it and I can do it. And that's what we do, we don't answer the phone when we drive, we're aware of other drivers around us.” Trisha said.
On Saturday, State Farm will host a special Celebrate My Drive Event focusing on the positive aspects of getting a driver’s license while educating new drivers.
The event will be at the State Farm Operations Center in Bakersfield at 900 Old River Rd. from 11 am to 3 pm.
On Tuesday, the CHP will he hosting a Start Smart class starting at 6 pm.
For more information, you can call the CHP at 864-4444.
Both events are free to the public.