Winter has come and gone, so it's likely that you're feeling better about your teen driver being out on the road. However, according to AAA, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the "100 Deadliest Days" due to the heightened rate of teen deaths in car accidents. In fact, in 2013 alone, 371,645 people were injured and 2,927 were killed in car crashes that involved a teen behind the wheel.
The warmer weather of summer surely inspires more joy rides, and it's important that your teen takes precautionary measures when driving this season. The roads are going to be busier than usual, with traffic from normal 9-5ers, to vacation-goers and college kids traveling home from school. Pass these words of advice along to your teen driver to ensure he understands the importance of driving safely throughout the summertime.
1. Buckle up
Before your teen even starts the car, he should make it a habit to buckle his seatbelt. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, wearing a seatbelt can reduce the risk of death by 40 percent and serious injury by 50 percent for drivers and front-seat passengers. If you're still deciding on the perfect car for your teen, you may want to consider one that uses an alarm to notify the driver until he buckles up.
2. Never text and drive
Did you know that over eight people are killed and 1,161 are injured in car crashes that involve a distracted driver every day? This involves anything that takes the mind, eyes, or hands away from concentrating on driving. The most common form of distraction is handling a smartphone or texting, so instill it in your teen's mind to never text and drive. Regardless of the conversation he may be having with his buddy, the text can wait. If it's too important to wait to talk about until later, he needs to pull over and handle it without risking his life.
3. Give your car proper maintenance
It's likely that your teen is going to play his favorite tunes to the highest volume while he drives, which means the chance of him missing signs that his car needs maintenance is pretty high. Therefore, you should always stress the importance of taking care of the car to your teen. Auto Trader reported that this means checking the tire pressure, getting the oil changed on a normal basis and looking out for any telling signs that the car needs a little extra TLC. If he doesn't show his car proper car, it won't be up and running much longer make sure he knows that!
"Convince your teen not to drive during inclement weather."
4. Don't drive when it's not necessary
When your teen starts driving, it's likely that he's going to want to be in that car every chance he gets. Regardless of if he has to be anywhere, he will find something to do so that he can go for a ride.
However, Consumer Reports suggested convincing your teen not to drive when it's not necessary to reduce the risk of being involved in an accident, especially during inclement weather. Let him know about the dangers of driving on slick, wet roads – sometimes, it could be worse than snow.
5. Never drink and drive
This may seem like an obvious one, but unless you stress the importance of not drinking and driving, your teen may not see it as such a big deal. Even though they are below the drinking age, teens have still reportedly been involved in fatal vehicle accidents that involved the consumption of alcohol. To keep this from happening, make it a point to have the discussion with your teen about drinking and driving – let him know that he should call you if he doesn't think he can drive or he is in a situation with a friend who has been drinking. Being honest with your teen about the risks of drunk driving will make him feel more comfortable in opening up to you.