Everyone looks forward to the summer months. It’s a time for fun in the sun, backyard barbecues and parties, lazy days at the pool and perhaps a road trip or vacation. Teens and young adults especially anticipate summer’s arrival, as it signals freedom from classes and school responsibilities for a few precious months.
However, the freedom of summer can bring dangerous situations to today’s young drivers. Longer days, later nights, and less daily responsibilities mixed in with less experience on the road can be a deadly mix over the summer months.
Teens simply drive more often during the summer and have more passengers in the car, which also increases the risk of an accident by around 44%. In fact, AAA has coined the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the 100 Deadliest Days on the Road. Over the summer months, teen crash rates have historically climbed every year.
Educating Your Teen about Safe Driving this Summer
According to AAA, in 2013 an average of 220 teen drivers and passengers died in traffic accidents over the summer months, which represented a 43% increase compared to the rest of the year. Teaching your teen how to stay safe on the road this summer benefits not only the teen, but also all the other drivers on the road.
Remember, your teen still needs your advice and support even after they’ve passed their driving test and have become a licensed driver. Studies have shown that parents who set rules for driving and continue to enforce those rules results in significantly less risky behavior during their teen’s first few years behind the wheel.
Tips for Staying Safe during the 100 Deadliest Days
As the summer comes into full swing, give your teen a few safe driving tips and set some important ground rules. For example, make sure your teen knows the dangers surrounding distracted driving, and set a rule that the cell phone should stay in a purse or the glovebox while they’re behind the wheel.
You can even make them sign a “safe driving agreement”, and if any of the rules are broken, driving privileges will be revoked.
The safe driving agreement should limit unnecessary trips, nighttime driving, and should absolutely restrict any sort of impaired driving. Let your teen know that if he or she is forced to choose between getting behind the wheel while intoxicated or call you for a ride, calling you should always be the first choice.
Also limit the number of passengers allowed in the car at any one time, and note that seat belts should always be worn and speed limits followed.
Your teen should understand that driving is a privilege, especially during the 100 Deadliest Days this year. Continue to communicate and reinforce the rules throughout the summer, leading by example as you practice the same safe driving tips you’re encouraging your teen to follow.
A premier driving school like Drive Team promotes safe teen driving throughout the year. Our teen driving classes ensure everyone stays as safe as possible behind the wheel. Contact us today for more information.