Summer vacation starts this month and that means one thing: a sharp spike in teen driving fatalities. It’s no secret that Memorial Day to Labor Day is the deadliest time for teen drivers. However, there are simple things every parent can do to have their child adopt safe driving practices and help them get home safely. Here is our advice for how you can help your teen driver get home safe this summer.
Make a Driving Agreement
A driving agreement is a contract between you and your teen driver that sets expectations for driving and penalties for breaking the terms. The CDC recommends driving agreements as a good way to start a discussion about safe driving practices.
A driving agreement can include anything from teens telling parents whenever they leave or arrive at a destination to approved driving hours. It should also include promises of what not to do, such as a vow to never text and drive. If you’re curious about making your own driving agreement, the CDC has a free template you can use on their website.
No Late Night Driving
About half of all car crashes occur at night, and teen drivers are more susceptible to making mistakes in the dark. Inexperienced drivers may struggle with decreased visibility and are less likely to know how to respond to drunk or drowsy drivers.
For those reasons, it is advised that parents set a curfew for their teens as part of the driving agreement. Generally, crashes spike from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and especially around 2 a.m., so you may want your teen home before it gets too late.
Offer to Drive
While underage drinking is unlawful, drunk teen drivers account for about 25% of car crashes for people under age 21. Even if you feel like your teen would never drink, they could still be in danger. Studies show many teens are willing to accept a ride from a friend they know is unsafe to drive.
While this may be a difficult subject to approach with your teen, they must be able to turn to you for help. When you offer to drive your teen to and from a party, you can prevent them from being in a potentially fatal crash. But it has to start with an honest discussion about expectations and clarity about the stakes of unsafe driving.
If your teen driver was injured in a crash, let us fight for you. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Bryan car accident lawyer from The Payne Law Group, don’t hesitate to contact our firm at (979) 300-7406 or send us an email.