Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in America and statistics reveal that the danger is greatest in the summer months, when kids are out of school and spending more time with their friends. Seven of the top 10 deadliest driving days occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day. According to AAA and crash data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the dates with the highest number of fatalities include: June 10, July 4, July 9, August 8 and August 14. Nearly twice as many automobile deaths occur during the summer months than the rest of the year combined.
Below are some steps parents can take to help keep their teens safe on the road this summer.
- Put in the time. Accompany teens when they drive between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Spending time in the car with your teen helps promote safe driving habits and reduce teen driving deaths.
- Discuss. Know where your teen is driving and the safest way to get there before handing over the keys. Help them make better decisions when it comes to time management while behind the wheel and the importance of “arriving alive” at their destination. Discuss the rules of the road with your teen and let them know that driving is a privilege not a right.
- Get it in writing. Consider having your teen driver sign a written agreement, clearly stating the rules and expectations you have for them while behind the wheel. This can include safe driving practices, including a limit on the number of passengers in the car. AAA offers a sample teen driving agreement at www.TeenDriving.AAA.com.
- Dangers of distracted driving. Discuss the dangers of distracted driving with your teen. These distractions can include texting, surfing the internet, accessing social media, phone use in general, accessing GPS devices and other dashboard distractions, changing radio stations, loud music, eating and drinking, etc.
- Be a role model. Set an example for your teen driver. Ford released a study showing that teens often mimic their parents’ behavior behind the wheel. It is going to be hard for your teenager to adhere to your words of advice when it comes to the dangers of distracted driving, when they see you texting and driving. Follow the rules of the road and always wear your seatbelt.
- Restrict night driving. The risk of a fatal teen crash doubles at night. More than half of the night time crashes occur between 9 p.m. and midnight.
- Limit the number of passengers. Fatal crashes for teens increase five-fold when there are two or more teen passengers in the vehicle. Limit the number of passengers allowed in your teen’s car.
- Eliminate ‘joy riding.’ Parents should limit their teen’s driving to essential trips only.
The most important thing parents can do is monitor their teen’s driving behaviors and educate them as they learn to practice essential driving skills. Parental involvement can make all the difference when it comes to keeping teens safe on the road.
- Summer months are the deadliest time of year for teen drivers – From Mother Nature Network
- Summer Months Most Deadly For Teen Drivers – From Aol Autos
- HIGHER GAS PRICES WON’T STOP RECORD MEMORIAL DAY TRAVEL, AAA SAYS – From Tribune.com
- This Is Going to Be the Worst Road Trip Weekend Ever – From Time.com
Work With Your Teen To Promote Driving Safety This Summer
With school being out for the summer, more teen drivers will be out on our Central Florida roads. At the Law Firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A., we want your teen to stay safe on the roads this summer and year around. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, it is important that you contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Orlando immediately. Our experienced team of accident attorneys can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. Feel free to fill out our quick contact form on our website to discuss your legal options in greater detail.