The months between Memorial Day and Labor Day, nicknamed the 100 Deadly Days of Summer, pose the greatest risk to new drivers. Instead of sitting in school all day, new drivers are on the road in full force. A study conducted by AAA suggests this increase in frequency directly leads to a drastic increase in accidents involving teens.
Driving involves many factors, and it’s easy to understand why inexperienced drivers pose such a risk. They lack years of experience that define good drivers. Because of this, roughly 900,000 car accidents occur each year involving drivers under the age of 18. Coaching your child about safe driving techniques is crucial during this period of their life.
Find Coaching Moments
Schedules rarely match after teens acquire their license. However, riding with your son or daughter lets you observe them behind the wheel while also giving you a chance to add pointers. Be sure to touch on the following points as you discuss safe driving.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
If you notice your child failing to put their seatbelt on at any time, stop them immediately. Young drivers frequently avoid using their seatbelts because they feel it’s uncool. However, wearing a seatbelt can cut the chance of serious injury or death by 50%.
All Eyes on the Road
Make sure you observe their level of attention on the road. New drivers have a tougher time gauging situations that require prompt decisions behind the wheel. Driving over the speed limit also reduces the amount of time they have to react to situations. Make sure your son or daughter maintains a safe speed while always scanning the road for obstacles.
Cells on Silent
Cell phones and driving do not mix. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute states that texting at the wheel creates a crash risk 23 times greater than normal. That split second spent looking at a phone could also be the split second requiring immediate action. Make it a point to silence your cell phone and set a positive example every time you start the car.
Coach Drivers and Passengers Alike
Making sure your son or daughter drives responsibly is a huge part of ensuring their safety. However, they need to know that driving with friends can be just as challenging. Express the importance of being an active passenger and encourage them to scan the road for changes, minimize distractions in the car, and always avoid drivers that use their cell phones.
Always Avoid Alcohol
Discussing techniques for safe driving would be incomplete without touching on the subject of alcohol. Teens with blood alcohol levels above .08% are 17 times more likely to cause an accident. Discussing the severity of driving under the influence can make all the difference in reducing this risk.
Handing the keys to your child is a huge moment in both of your lives. When you held their hands as they learned to walk, you knew you would always be there to pick them up when they fell. Guide them through this next learning process by discussing safe driving techniques and always setting the example.