Prepare Your Teen for Summertime Driving

Here are some tips from Ret. Master Police Officer III, James Poer.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the deadliest for drivers 15-20 years of age. That means parents need to be especially vigilant in communicating and enforcing their expectations and rules related to their teen’s driving habits.

Here is a summary of the riskiest behavior and some recommendations; you must decide how to handle these issues with your teen.

Don’t let your teen drive when he is tired.  Driving when drowsy is just as dangerous as driving when drunk. Driving at night is also more risky, so the NHTSA recommends a 10:00 pm curfew.

The risk of a deadly accident doubles when there is at least one male passenger in the car.  How many passengers ride with your teen?  The NHTSA recommends no more than one passenger; you may think that’s one too many.

By now everyone knows the dangers of distractions, especially as they relate to cell phones.  What behavior are you modeling for your teen and what consequences have you established for using a cell phone or texting while driving?  There are devices you can install in your teen’s car that can disable his cell phone except for emergency calls to or from you.

Many fatalities and serious injuries could be avoided if drivers and passengers would only use their seat belts.  Are you exhibiting the right behavior and does your teen understand the consequences of not using a seat belt?  Do you or your teen need to see photographs of accident victims that weren’t wearing their seat belt to change your behavior?  One of the worst ones I’ve seen is the one where the driver didn’t go through the windshield, but just left the profile of his face imprinted on it.

Speeding is one of the most common factors in an accident.  Again there are devices you can install in your teen’s car to notify you when a certain speed is exceeded.  Only you can decide how much monitoring is appropriate for your teen.  At a minimum, establish consequences for speeding that will be a deterrent.

Make sure your teen understands that absolutely no alcohol or other drugs that could impair his abilities are to be taken while driving.

For more tips on how to make your teen driver a safe driver go to our website at and click on the “Make Your Yeen a Safe Driver Banner.”

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