Summer is nearly here and while you might be looking forward to relaxing over the coming months, it is definitely not the time to relax the driving rules for your teen.
With school finished and plenty of free time to spend with friends, your teen may be planning to get in lots of driving experience on summer roads. But summer roads pose many risks to road users, especially inexperienced teen drivers.
National Safety Council estimates indicate that 402 people may be killed on the roads during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday period, and 45,800 more people may be seriously injured.
Even if your teen has gotten plenty of experience driving in the fall, winter and spring months, summer roads can be especially busy and unpredictable and car crashes are still the number one killer of teens.
Before your teen gets behind the wheel this summer, make sure he or she is prepared for hazards such as:
- Heavy traffic on highways
- Construction on rural and urban roads
- Pedestrians and bicyclists sharing the roadways
- Children and pets darting out into the street
Rather than loosening the rules for your teen this summer, reinforce safe driving habits and talk with your teen about how to handle risky driving situations.
Your teen needs to understand the dangers of nighttime driving, drowsy driving and driving with passengers – especially other teens. Talk through these scenarios and make yourself available so that your teen knows it is better to call you for a ride than to risk driving home late at night or riding home with a friend. It may not be as convenient for you, and may be less desirable for them, but it is without a doubt the safest choice.
Over the summer break, many drivers, passengers and pedestrians lose their lives in crashes and many more are seriously injured. When compared to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, the three summertime holidays – Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day – typically claim over 110 lives each day, the highest average per-day fatality rates.
Make sure teens have the chance to practice with you before going out on their own. Reinforce the importance of having a designated sober driver, avoiding distractions, and keeping each other safe. Let’s avoid tragedy, and make sure summer is a time for fun.