When it comes to safety, parents should not take the summer off. Memorial Day weekend not only marks the unofficial beginning of summer, it also signals the start of the 100 deadliest days on the road for teen drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, nearly 1,000 people were killed in auto accidents involving teenagers; 88% of those killed were teen drivers.
With more free time on their hands, relaxed curfews, and summer jobs that keep them behind the wheel, the spike makes sense. While all driver distractions are dangerous, one of the biggest risks during the summer months is passengers. The National Safety Council reported that passengers increase the risk of a teen driver crashing by at least 44%. A recent study by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center found that when there was loud conversation in the car, teen drivers were six times more likely to need to take action to prevent a dangerous situation. When there was horseplay, drivers were three times more likely to get into a similarly serious situation.
Avoiding all driver distractions is a proven and effective ways to help teen drivers stay focused on the task at hand – driving. Talk to your teens about wearing seat belts, following the speed limit and other road signs, and avoiding distractions – texting and talking on a cell phone, passengers, and loud music. Also, set a curfew. By setting expectations and rules before summer gets underway and consistently sticking to the rules throughout summer, parents can make a big difference in how safe their teens are during this risky time of year. For free tips and resources to help keep your teen driver safe, click here.
What do you think is the best way to keep teen drivers safe this summer? What restrictions do you think work to keep teens safe on our roads? Share your comments.
Mark Bello has thirty-seven years experience as a trial lawyer and fifteen years as a leading expert in the lawsuit funding industry. His company, Lawsuit Financial Corporation, provides necessities of life funding to plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. He is a Member, Justice Pac Member, and Sustaining Member of numerous state and national justice associations.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.