Labor Day signals the end of summer and for many Americans it is their last chance to relax before the weather turns cool again. But don’t let your relaxation get in the way of your teen driver’s safety.
The Labor Day weekend – running from 6 p.m. tonight to just before midnight on Monday – is a busy time on the roads, which means a higher chance of injury and death for drivers, passengers and pedestrians. According to estimates from the National Safety Council, 421 people may be killed and another 48,400 may be seriously injured in car crashes this Labor Day weekend, the highest estimate since 2008.
To help your teen stay safe and avoid a crash, reinforce his or her defensive driving habits this Labor Day weekend. Whether your long weekend takes you and your family to another state or just across town, your teen driver should be prepared for:
- Heavy traffic on highways
- Increased traffic on normally empty roads
- Pedestrians and bicyclists sharing the roadways
- Large families and groups crossing the street in both directions
- Motorcyclists getting in their last rides of the summer
- Cramped parking and busy parking lots
- Children and pets darting out into the street
That’s a lot for a new driver to contend with and it’s likely they’ll need some coaching along the way. So no matter where you’re travelling or what the conditions are like, stay involved with your teen to make sure he or she is constantly scanning the road, obeying all speed limits, avoiding cell phone use - including hands-free talking - and that he or she is well rested before getting behind the wheel. Check out the Digital Driving Coach to learn how you can be the best coach for your teen.
This may be your teen’s last chance to drive in prime weather – fall storms and winter snow are on the way – so take advantage, give him or her the chance to practice as much as possible and make this Labor Day weekend one to remember.