The days and weeks surrounding the holidays are busy, especially on our roadways. All that traffic leads to an increase in crashes. Sadly, the National Safety Council estimates there will be 261 deaths in traffic crashes during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods.
Teen drivers haven’t had the best luck during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period recently, either. In 2012, 505 people died in crashes involving drivers 15 to 19 years old in December and January. Eighty-five of those deaths occurred between December 24 and January 1. That’s a lot of preventable deaths in a nine-day period.
Remember, bad weather is just one reason the roads are dangerous for our teens. When teens are out of school, they may be more inclined to drive or ride with teen passengers, stay out later or drive for fun instead of driving with a purpose (i.e., getting to school or to work). It’s important for us parents to keep an eye on when our teens are driving and with whom.
Many people celebrate the new year, and it’s exciting to watch the ball drop in the midst of friends. If your teens want to spend time with friends on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, be sure to discuss the dangers of drinking and driving. Unfortunately, teen drinking and driving is on the rise.
The holiday season is a good time to spend extra hours behind the wheel with your teen too, even if he or she has had a license for awhile. You can sign up to receive weekly driving lessons and coaching tips at DriveitHOME.org, then share your experience with other parents. By working together, we can help keep our roads safer this holiday season.
Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS data, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention