Summer is here and many teens are looking forward to the freedom of summer vacation and a break from school. If your teen is newly licensed, it’s important that you are aware of what dangers they face before you readily hand over the car keys.
During the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the number of fatal teen accidents increases by 26%, compared to other months of the year. This adds up to an average of 260 teens who lose their lives each month during the summer.
As we enter the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer,” parents should know what steps to take to help their teen motorists stay safe on the road. We provide three tips below that you can implement.
Only Allow Them to Drive in Safe Conditions
You must remember that teens don’t have decades of driving experience that you may have under your belt. Even with a driver’s license, your teen is still in the learning phase and may not be able to react quickly in emergency situations behind the wheel.
Because of this fact, you should only allow your teen to drive in the safest conditions. For instance, only allow them permission to drive during daylight hours, as more car crashes occur at night, and when weather conditions are ideal. Additionally, you may want to limit the number of passengers that they are allowed to transport at any given time.
Emphasize the Dangers of Impaired Driving
Impaired driving is one of the most common causes of fatal teen accidents. It is also entirely preventable when your teens are aware of its dangers and take the right steps to avoid putting themselves and others at risk.
You want to ensure that your teen knows that you are a safe place to turn, should they ever be in a dangerous situation. If someone is pressuring them to drink and drive or if they are in a situation with another impaired driver, tell them that they can call you to pick them up—no questions asked. Instead, help them brainstorm how they can avoid similar situations in the future.
Make a Driving Contract
Unless you are in the vehicle with your teen, you probably will not be able to control what they do behind the wheel. However, you can make them take part in a driving contract that holds them accountable for their actions as a driver.
Part of the driving contact could include that your teen will put their phone on “do not disturb” mode while driving, will always wear a seat belt, and will be responsible for paying any tickets they receive. Driving is a privilege, not a right. As a parent, you want to be sure that your teen knows that this privilege can be taken away when they fail to uphold their part of the contract.
With these safety tips in mind, we hope that you and your entire family have a healthy and safe summer. At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, our car accident attorneys are standing by ready to help you if you need us. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources you need to achieve a favorable outcome when the unexpected happens.