Summer Months are the Most Dangerous for Teen Drivers
With school out for the summer, more teens are headed out on the roads, driving to concerts, beach trips and more. Although summer can be a fun and exciting time, unfortunately, teens are at a higher risk for car accident fatalities than any other time of the year.
Called the “100 Deadliest Days” the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is especially dangerous for teen drivers as teen driving fatalities increase by a startling 43%.
The reason for the increase in accidents is because teens are new drivers and relatively inexperienced, meaning they are more likely to drive distracted, speed, take more risks, and be unsure of what to do in certain situations. Couple that with the fact that more teens are out on the roads, driving everywhere from work to longer road trips, the risks are extremely high.
Teen Driving at a Glance
- Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens
- 6 teens die every day in car accidents in the U.S.
- Teens have the lowest seat belt use of any age group
How the Graduated Driver’s License Program is Helping Teens Be Safer Drivers
Due to the high risks teens face behind the wheel, Massachusetts teens must undergo a process to obtain their full license, which requires hours of training and includes various restrictions. The process is in place to help keep teen drivers safe and help teens become more experienced, confident drivers before obtaining their unrestricted licenses.
Teens can apply for a learner’s permit at the age of 16, and must log 40 hours of supervised training before earning their intermediate or restricted license. With a restricted license, teen drivers cannot drive between certain hours and there are passenger restrictions to reduce distractions.
How Can Parents Help in the Process?
1) Practice Driving Together
As a parent, you can play a critical role in your child’s driving safety. As your teen will need supervised hours behind the wheel, you can be in the car with them and teach them best practices once they obtain their permit. You should have them practice in various weather conditions and during the day and night to ensure they are comfortable.
2) Lead by Example
Leading by example is also important. Avoid using your cell phone while driving, and show your teens what it is to be an alert and responsible driver. They can learn by your example and feel comfortable asking questions about driving to help them become more educated and aware.
3) Have Regular Conversations about Dangers
In addition to practicing driving together, it’s extremely important to have regular conversations about the real risks associated with driving, and consequences. Talk about statistics, and real-life examples to help teens understand how driving is a major responsibility, not to be taken lightly.
What Are Some of the Most Important Teen Driving Tips?
- Always Keep Your Eyes on the Road- Be alert and never drive distracted. Only use your phone in an emergency and safely pull over to do so.
- Avoid Speeding – Drive at the speed limit and make sure to give enough space between the car in front of you. Never follow too closely.
- Always Wear a Seatbelt – Nearly half of fatal car accident victims were not wearing seat belts. Always buckle up.
- Limit the Number of Teen Passengers – Teen passengers can be incredibly distracting and increase risks for accidents.
We hope that by following these tips and speaking with your teen, you can help keep them safe on the roads this summer. For more helpful tips and information, click here.
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