Did you know that Memorial Day marks the start of the 100 Deadliest days for teen drivers? Schools across the country have closed for summer break, and states have begun phases of reopening. This means there are more teen drivers on the roads.
It is important to talk with your teen driver early and have regular safe driving conversations throughout their motoring experience, as laws change. Parents play a key role in empowering their teens to practice safe driving behaviors.
Ford Driving Skills for Life, a Ford Fund safe driving program for teen drivers, put together these eight tips to keep teens safe this summer.
Wear your seat belt
One of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up. Seat belt use saved over 14,000 lives in 2017. Air bags are not enough to protect you in a crash. They are designed to work alongside seat belts, not replace them. Teen drivers should always wear seat belt and require their passengers to do the same.
Did you know adding two passengers under the age of 21 doubles the risk of a crash for a teen driver? Conversations with multiple passengers can be incredibly distracting. Peer pressure can lead to dangerous behaviors like speeding or recklessness. Graduated Driver Licensing laws limit the number of passengers allowed at one time. Check your state’s GDL law and how it applies to you.
Don’t drive drowsy
The National Sleep Foundation says drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Drowsy driving crashes occur most often between midnight and 6 a.m.
Don’t drive impaired
Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes; that's one person every 50 minutes. Driving a vehicle while impaired is a dangerous crime. If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Hail a rideshare service, or call a sober friend or family member.
Every day in the US, nine people die from a distracted-driving-related motor vehicle crash. Six of these deaths are teens aged 16 to 19. Distracted driving extends further than texting and driving. It also includes operating a music player, eating, or conversations with passengers. It can be anything that takes your focus off driving.
Reduce night driving
The inexperience of a teen driver mixed with unfamiliar roads can result in a crash.
Watch for construction zones
You can receive a big fine if you do not abide by construction zone speed limits. This also applies to moving over for emergency vehicles on the highway.
Know the roads
In our day of smart driving apps it’s easy to get by without really knowing the names of roads and highways or being familiar with your local landmarks. Take the time to review a map of your route. Pay attention to road signs and speed limits. Know your state driving laws.