Summertime means more teenagers are out of school and getting behind the wheel to head to seasonal jobs or hang out with friends. Statistics show that the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is among the most dangerous for those aged 16 to 19 — so dangerous that AAA has labeled it the “100 deadliest days” for teenagers.
What can you do to encourage younger drivers to make safe decisions when they’re on the road? Read on to learn more about this age group’s worst driving habits and how you can help.
Why Teens Are at Risk
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the majority of crashes caused by this age group are the result of poor visual scanning, speeding and distraction. The latter accounted for almost 60 percent of teen accidents from 2010 to 2015. Talking to passengers (15 percent), using a cellphone (12 percent) and looking at something else within the car (11 percent) landed at the top of the list.
How You Can Help
Set a good example with your driving behaviors. Children learn by watching those they ride with, so make a point to be a valuable role model.
Work with your teen driver to improve visual scanning skills. Encourage them to look farther down the road and widen their peripheral vision, which can help them anticipate what’s coming and react accordingly.
Create a parent-teen driving agreement that clarifies your expectations, including straightforward safety rules and penalties for breaking them.
Take an active role in your teen’s introduction to driving. Enrolling teens in an effective education program, giving them time to practice and being patient as they learn can help mold their future behind the wheel.