Memorial Day marks the start of “ 100 Deadliest Days ” for teen drivers. During this time – which ends on Labor Day – the risk of fatal collisions dramatically increases. More than 1,050 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver during the same period in 2016 , which is an average of 10 people per day – a 14% increase compared to the rest of the year, according to data analyzed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Teen drivers often travel in large groups of their peers, stay out late at night, and exceed posted speed limits while on summer vacation. As a parent, you can play a vital role in mitigating the elevated level of risk by using these 4 safety tips to protect your teen.
Take Your Teen’s Vehicle in for a Safety System Check
With crash avoidance and injury prevention as the goal, you can help your teen stay safe by bringing their vehicle into the shop for a thorough safety system check before summer arrives and every few months thereafter. Your auto technician will go over every safety system in the vehicle, including airbags, tire pressure monitors, and anti-lock brakes, to ensure the components all work as expected and perform repairs as needed.
With all these systems working correctly, teach your teen how to correctly utilize each one in normal driving situations. Remind your teen to never rely on the safety systems alone, as they can become a crutch that may reduce the diligence of your new driver.
Install and Monitor a Dash Camera
Dash cameras installed at the front and rear of your teen’s vehicle have the potential to reinforce good driving habits and prevent reckless activities on the roadway.
“Dash cams can go beyond simply capturing information about a given situation on the road; they can also serve as learning tools – when the footage is reviewed regularly,” said Chuck Hawks, CEO of Teen Driving Solutions School, Inc. “They can give a parent the chance to praise as well as correct a new driver’s practices.”
He further stresses the importance of dash cams as a peer pressure deterrent as teens can simply remind their friends that the cameras are rolling, and reckless driving will come with serious consequences. Consider reviewing the footage on a daily basis to touch base with your teen about their overall driving habits.
Promote the Importance of Driving Without Distractions
Although they will never admit it, teens look to their parents for guidance about the best practices to employ while driving. You must act as a role model for your teen by always resisting distractions, especially those coming through your cell phone, while you are behind the wheel.
Furthermore, you should remind your teen that only a second of distracted driving can result in a severe collision that results in life-changing injuries or even death. Unlocking and using a cellphone, or even using voice commands for your vehicle’s infotainment systems, can distract drivers from the road ahead for nearly 30 seconds. Model great attentive driving behaviors by safely pulling over to utilize your digital devices or respond to a text on your cellphone – and encourage your teen to do the same.
Enroll Your Teen in a Defensive Driving or In-Car Training Course
Online and in-person defensive driving courses teach your teen about all the best collision avoidance techniques at their disposal. Throughout the course, teen drivers learn how to remain proactive in identifying and avoiding potential hazards on the roadway. After the course, enroll your teen in in-car training sessions to reinforce the defensive driving techniques in real-life situations with professional driving instructors. Taking your own defensive driving courses can help you learn updated safety information to effectively act as a great role model for your teen drivers.
When you employ these 4 excellent practices in preparing your teen for their drives, you help mitigate the risks they face through and after the 100 deadliest days of the year. You can partner with eDriving to teach your teen how to safely maneuver down any roadway by signing up for defensive driving courses today.
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