School is out for the summer and for many teens, summer means freedom, temporary jobs, trips to the local coffee shop, and meeting up with friends – all which can involve driving. Teen drivers are the least experienced drivers on the road and they are the age group most likely to die in traffic fatalities.
While roadway fatalities happen year-round, the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there is an increase in roadway fatalities involving teen drivers during the summer months.
And the risk is especially high when a group of teens are riding in the same car. The fatality rate increases 51 percent in this driving situation. Conversely, when a teen driver is driving with an adult passenger, the fatality rate decreases by 8 percent. Knowing this risk, what can parents do to help keep their teen drivers safe this summer?
Parents: Talk With Your Teen Drivers
Parents have the opportunity to positively affect their teen’s driving behavior. This starts with setting a good example for their teen drivers by practicing safe driving habits: avoid distracted driving, avoid excessive speeding, obey traffic laws, etc.
It is important for parents and teen drivers to understand that safe driving is important all year-round – not just during the 100 Deadliest Days. Additionally, parents should consider setting driving limits for teen drivers that are more strict than current traffic laws. Teen drivers have limited driving experience and are prone to impulsive driving behaviors – especially when other teens are in the car. Current laws alone may not provide the framework these inexperienced drivers need to safely drive.