Summer is the best time of year for many teens, especially newly licensed ones. No more embarrassing drop offs with mom or dad, the freedom to come and go as they please and full radio control. With the windows down and their friends piled in, our teens are experiencing one of the quintessential rites of passage into young adulthood. Adventure awaits them daily during the summer months and they are determined to discover it. With all this newfound freedom, it is important to remind teens of the responsibilities that accompany it.
The period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is known as the “100 Deadliest Days”. During this time there is a 14-26% increase in teen traffic fatalities. Simply due to the increased time teens are spending on the roads, this concerning statistic is hard to ignore. The months of June, July and August are a great time to keep safety at the front of mind for our teens and any other licensed drivers in the family.
Newsday reminds us that “Not only are teens themselves more likely to die in car crashes, they also have the highest rates of crash involvement resulting in the deaths of others, including passengers, pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles.” Responsibility does not only fall on teen drivers, but to everyone on the road to remain vigilant and prevent avoidable crashes.
Consider some of the statistics from AAA, We Save Lives and the National Safety Council:
- Car crashes are the number one killer of teens in the U.S.
- 80% of teens cite their parents as having the most influence over their driving.
- Teens have the highest crash rate of any group
- Half of all teens will be involved in a crash before graduating high school.
- 60% of teen crashes are caused by distracted driving.
- An average of 260 teens are killed in car crashes each month of the summer.
These staggering statistics are sobering. Parents and influencers can brush up on some ways to assist teens during these summer months. The best way to protect teens is to talk to them about the responsibilities and the possibilities when they are behind the wheel.
It can be hard to remind teens of the best behavior as parents don’t want to nag their kids, especially teens who often meet our well-meant words with glares and discontent. However, this important subject can’t go overlooked. Use these points as conversation starters with the new drivers in your family to help educate them and to raise their safety awareness this busy summer season:
- Remind teens that too many passengers is dangerous. Everyone should have a seat with a seatbelt. Each passenger your teen carries is an added distraction to their driving.
- Demonstrate responsible driving. Parents who use cell phones and other devices while driving with teens in the car are setting a poor example for a generation that struggles to disconnect as it is. Encourage teens to leave their devices out of reach while driving.
- Talk about driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol with your teens. Driving under the influence isn’t only against the law, it is deadly. Sober driving is the only acceptable alternative. Let them know that riding as a passenger with someone else driving under the influence is just as dangerous.
- Empower teens to show courage. Let them know that refusing to drive or ride in unsafe conditions is admirable and a very mature decision to make. Give them permission to call on you to rescue them from an unsafe situation without consequence.
If you or a teen driver you know is involved in a personal injury accident, contact The Personal Injury Attorney Department at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.