The long, lazy days of summer are
some of the happiest and most fun-filled times for America’s teenagers. Unfortunately, traffic statistics show that they’re
also the deadliest. The California Insurance Commission looked at data compiled
by the Traffic Safety Commission and the results spelled alarming news for
teens and their parents: most auto
fatalities involving teenagers occur during the 100 days from Memorial Day to
A review conducted by leading
insurance companies and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration backs
up this finding. According to their
study, seven of the ten deadliest teen driving days take place during the
summer months between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The deadliest dates are June 10th, July 4th,
July 9th, August 8th, and August 14th. Officials warn parents to be especially
vigilant in supervising teen drivers during this time of increased danger.
While parents can’t always ensure
that teenage drivers will avoid an accident, they can take steps to improve
their road safety. Here are a few
recommendations from safety experts to minimize teen driving risk:
Commit to spending 50 hours accompanying
your teen driver on the road between Memorial Day and Labor Day. More supervised driving time spent learning
good driving habits means greater safety when they hit the road alone.
Before you hand over the car keys,
always discuss their destination, route, who’s accompanying them in the car and
safety precautions they should take while on the road.
Create a written agreement with
your teenager that establishes agreed upon driving rules such as passenger
limits, seat belts, phone use, texting, curfews and distance limits.
Talk to your teen about the
dangers of driver distractions like talking on the phone, texting, talking to
passengers, putting on makeup, eating, loud music and channel surfing.
Many things that seem basic to
adults who’ve spent years behind the wheel don’t occur to younger drivers. Spend time talking to them about driving tips
like checking blind spots before changing lanes, adjusting mirrors properly and
slowing down on wet roads.
Limit night driving. Most fatal teen accidents occur between the
hours of 9p.m. and 6a.m.
Limit the number of passengers in
the car when your teenager is driving.
Studies show that crash rates increase with the number of teen
Whether in the dangerous summer
months or at other times of the year, these precautions will increase the
safety of your teenager when they get behind the wheel.