Teen Driving over the Summer
Summer is here officially, and there is something that ALL drivers need to be aware of. According to AAA, the stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the “100 deadliest days” for teen drivers. An average of 260 teens are killed in car crashes each month during the summer. This is an increase of 26% compared with other months in the year. 60% of these teen crashes are caused by distracted driving. While you might think the distraction is caused by cell phones, in reality, most of the time the distractions are coming from other passengers, most likely other teens, in the car.
It’s also important to note that teens also have the highest rates of crash involvement resulting in deaths of others, including passengers, pedestrians or other vehicle occupants. So how do we stress to teens to drive safely and defensively this summer? It needs to be emphasized how dangerous driving can be, especially when someone is distracted. Daily reminders are important even if it seems excessive. It’s also important to emphasize that deriving impaired is illegal, and if they were to be in an accident, that one bad choice could ruin the rest of their life.
As a parent, you could also let your teenager know that if they are ever in a potentially dangerous driving situation that they can call you, no questions asked or punishments for help. this takes some pressure off the kid if they make a mistake. You can also encourage them to say “no” if a friend of theirs is driving who has been drinking or taking drugs. Empower kids to make the right decisions, and they will.