A Conversation with Tim Hollister
Tim Hollister is a national expert on teen driving and author of the book Not So Fast: Parenting Your Teen Through the Dangers of Driving. As a parent whose 17 year-old son, Reid, died in a one-car crash while driving, Tim brings a unique perspective to the information parents must have in order to determine if their daughter or son should be driving. In Not So Fast, Tim presents a clear description of the risks teens face every time they get behind the wheel. He provides parents the benefit of his years of research and discusses specific recommendations aimed at decreasing the inherent dangers associated with teen driving.
In our conversation, Tim recounts his belief that prior to his son’s death he considered himself to be a well-informed parent about the risks his son faced while driving, and the steps he took afterwards to correct that mistaken belief. Tim’s book is designed to “help parents understand the real risks of teen driving” and assist them in determining if their teen should be driving on a particular day, or at all.
Teens and Safe Driving
In this episode Tim discusses a critical wrong assumption many parents make: that their teen is a good person and therefore a safe driver. In other words, the erroneous belief that it is the other driver who is the problem. As Tim points out, it is not possible for teens to have the necessary skills to be risk-free drivers due to a combination of biology, inexperience, and the essential time needed to hone one’s skills. Our brains and judgment are not fully developed until our mid-twenties. Add to this the fact that it takes three to five years of driving experience to become relatively safe drivers, and science and research tell us that no teen can be a completely safe driver.
This does not mean that parents cannot help their teens to be SAFER drivers. They can. It means that parents need to understand a teen’s limitations by being informed and then acting on that knowledge. During our discussion Tim provides critical considerations for parents and teen drivers, such as knowing the difference between purposeful driving and joyriding, and the importance of a Teen Driving Agreement (TDA). A model TDA is provided in his book.
Not So Fast
Created from his blog, From Reid’s Dad, Tim Hollister shares the best of his blog posts in twenty-six short chapters packed with priceless information,including:
- Why there is no Such Thing as a Safe Teen Driver
- What Driver’s Ed Isn’t
- The ABC of GDL (Graduated Driver Licensing)
- Negotiating and Enforcing a Teen Driving Agreement
- Managing Curfews, and
- Supervising the Brand-New Driver.
Tim helps parents understand the issues and how essential parental supervision is to the safety of their teens and everyone else on the road. Not So Fast is a must-read for any parent with a teen driver and this podcast episode is a great discussion of the author’s deeply personal experience and wealth of knowledge on the perils of teen driving.
- Traffic Safety Guy Blog – Teen Driving – I Know Everything
- Traffic Safety Guy Blog – Teen Driving – Speeding and Teenagers: Watch Out Parents–It’s a Deadly Combination
- Traffic Safety Guy Blog – Teen Driving: Parents, There Is More To Do
- Tim Hollister interviewed by Monika Samtani on the Extra Mile
- Teen Driver Safety: Reid’s Story