Schools are closing, and teens are officially on summer break. Parents, do you know what that means? Your teens are hitting the road with their friends. This period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer." Unfortunately, this is the time of year where teen accident rates are much higher than usual.
What are the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer?
This period takes place between Memorial Day and Labor Day. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that over 1,000 people are killed in accidents involving teen drivers during the100 Deadliest Days of Summer. That averages about 10 people per day. There are several factors to consider when your teens are behind the wheel this summer, according to the Chicago Tribune:
- Teens are more likely to have friends in the car
- They will be out later at night when the risk of crashes is higher
- Warm weather encourages speeding
- There are more drivers on the road to look out for
Here are seven ways to keep your teens safe during these dangerous days of summer.
1.Don't let them drive while tired. A 2017 survey conducted by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Liberty Mutual Insurance found that one-third of teens get behind the wheel while fatigued. Nearly one in 10 have fallen asleep while driving. Parents should encourage their teens to stay home if they are too tired to drive. If they are out and too exhausted to drive, persuade them to get an Uber or Lyft.
2.Driving under the influence can affect teens' futures. Teens are more likely to drive under the influence with their friends in the car during the summer. We Save Lives Highway Safety Advocates reports that teens arrested for driving under the influence can ruin their chances at a college education, job opportunities. They can also increase insurance rates and lawyer fees. Encourage your teens to reach out to you or get a ride if they find themselves under the influence.
3.Remind teens to reach out to you. Driving has a way of making teens or anyone with a license feel empowered. Therefore, it can also make a teen feel embarrassed if they make a mistake or find themselves in trouble on the road. Parents, remind your teen that they shouldn't feel afraid to contact you if they encounter sticky situations behind the wheel. You are the one who can help them, whatever the problem may be.
4.Create a summer driving contract. Draw up an agreement between you and your teen with a list of rules and consequences. Go over each one in detail together and have your teen sign it. The contract will hold them accountable and keep them aware of safety practices, so they don't' lose their driving privileges.
5.Reward good driving. Continually focusing on bad driving might make the teens feel like they are terrible drivers, even when they try to practice safe driving. Parents might want to consider rewarding excellent driving behavior. A small gesture like a gift card or a night off from chores will give teens the incentive they need to keep up the good driving.
6.Practice driving in different conditions. They may be licensed to drive but they still need your guidance. Between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., the risk of crashes while driving at night are much higher. This is the perfect time for parents to ride with their teens in the car. It's also helpful to drive with them in other weather conditions, like rain and snow, so they know what to do.
7.Parents need to set examples. Even as teenagers, they continue to watch and mimic their parents. If you are making calls, texting, and fumbling with the radio while behind the wheel, what makes you think your teen won't do it? Be an example and make all preparations before pulling off. Set your playlist, pull up your destination, and wait until you arrive safely to respond to texts or calls. If you practice safety behind the wheel, chances are your teens will do the same.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to keeping our viewers accident-free, which is why we initiated the Drive Safe campaign. Steer clear of danger with our monthly tips.