No, it is not the name of a horror movie. It is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when according to an AAA report 1 in 10 of all motor vehicle nighttime crash fatalities involved a teen and 1 in 10 speed-related fatalities involved a teen driver. If you are the proud parent of a teenager about to start driving, read on.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. The risk of being involved in a crash is the highest among male teenagers, age 16 to 19. Teenagers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like driving distracted, not wearing a seat belt, driving with other teen passengers (also a distraction), drinking and driving, speeding, and nighttime driving. New drivers are more likely to make mistakes because they are inexperienced and they are easily distracted. Parents can help keep teens safe by taking the following steps before handing them the car keys.
- Know the risks and talk to your teen about the dangers of engaging in risky behavior behind the wheel. Here is a good resource to help you start the conversation aaa.com
- Know the laws and enforce them – NJ laws available here
- Help them practice – a good resource for supervised driving tips available here
- Use technology to see how they are doing ( it’s not spying if it helps to keep them safe) with APPS that evaluate their driving (speeding, cell phone use, harsh braking, etc.) and provide feedback to help them improve. Also, add vehicle technology such as cameras, GPS tracking, cell phone blocks, or get them a newer vehicle that has advanced technology incorporated. More info about available technology here
- Teach them what to do in case they are involved in an accident
- Be a good role model
We hope everyone stays safe and enjoy the summer!