by Sharlyn Petit
With graduations, summer vacations, and end-of-year celebrations upon us, Memorial Day has kicked off the 100 days that AAA considers to be the deadliest for teen drivers. Historically, teen crash fatalities climb between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
According to an AAA Foundation study, nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen themselves (passengers, those in another vehicle, or non-motorists). Focusing on teen driver safety in the summer makes our roads safer for everyone.
The nerves and excitement of proms and summer plans can tip the scales against inexperienced drivers — and passengers. Parents with teens on the move this summer should discuss passenger safety just as much as driver safety. Here are some talking points from our safe choices safe choices tip sheet:
- Don’t ride with someone again if you didn’t like their driving the first time.
- Wear a seat belt, even if no one else wears theirs.
- Let the driver concentrate. Don’t encourage speed, loud music, horseplay, etc.
- Avoid alcohol, even as a passenger. It increases rowdiness, noise, distractions.
These are difficult things for a teenager to do. They require going against the grain, doing what isn’t fun, doing what isn’t emotional. That takes a lot of leadership. That means doing what you know, inside, is the right thing to do. The smart thing to do. The responsible thing to do.
Your child might even be pleasantly surprised and find out that the other occupants of the car agree – they wanted to settle down, too, but were afraid to say so.
Read more on AAA’s study.