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Summer Driving - A Caution to Parents

Not Another Long, Hot, and Deadly Summer

Summer is in full swing, school is out, and vacation plans are being made across the country. Unfortunately, another less welcome season is also in full swing. The "100 deadliest days for drivers", as coined by AAA, has begun.

Summer Driving Safety

Across the nation's highways, nine of the ten deadliest days for teens fall during the summer months. On average, fourteen young drivers die each day between Memorial Day and Labor Day in vehicle related accidents. In a lot of ways, summertime is the perfect storm for teenage drivers. They have more free time, more late nights, and sometimes, fewer rules from parents. Mix in texting, alcohol, and teenage daring with inexperience and you have a recipe for driving disaster.

Here's how parents can help keep their teens from becoming another heartbreaking statistic:

  • Have your teen make the Pledge for Change: our contract that makes teen pledge not to drink and drive, text and drive, and more.
  • Limit their nighttime driving and restrict unnecessary driving trips where they are going out driving "just for the heck of it".
  • Explain to them that "being cool" is not worth dying for. Teenage drivers will naturally want to take risks, push limits, unbuckle seatbelts, and impress friends. Remind them that all of that teenage bravado needs to take a back seat when driving a car.
  • Let them know to call you for a ride, no matter what, before getting into a car with a drunken friend, or if they themselves might be impaired.
  • Continue to teach your children how to drive even after they are licensed. When they are in the car with you, keep on giving them driving tips and explaining things. Just because they are licensed doesn't mean they are experienced!

Finally, communicate with your teen about their responsibilities as drivers... and then communicate with them again! As you know, they need constant reinforcement, and if that reinforcement doesn't come from their parents, it may never come at all.

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