Better overall weather, increased daylight hours, and more relaxed schedules translates to safer driving conditions, right? Wrong. Although two in three drivers will tell you they feel safer while driving during the summer months due to the reasons listed above, there is an even greater likelihood that accidents could occur, especially for drivers 16-20. With summer recess in full swing, teenagers are hitting the roads in droves, making driving during the summer season more dangerous than ever.
AAA found that distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes. From cell phone usage to friends riding in the cars, teens are prone to various distractions while driving. This summer you can ensure your teens are driving safely by enacting five simple rules:
- Put down the cell phone. Cell phone usage while driving is the cause of 12% of teen accidents. Prevent your teens from using their phones while driving by installing an app that prevents your kids from texting and driving.
- Turn down the music. 8% of teen accidents are caused by music related distractions: singing along, dancing, switching the radio station, etc. Teach your teens to change the station only when stopped, set up their Bluetooth on devices, and encourage them to turn the volume down a few notches.
- Monitor the number of passengers in the car. Distracted driving caused by other passengers is the leading cause of teen car crashes. Lay down the law on how many passengers your teen is allowed to drive to cut back on distractions.
- Preach defensive driving. Even though your teen might be a great driver, teach them to always prepare for the other guy. You never know who will be out on the road regardless of the time of day you’re driving and you should never assume the other driver is going to do what they should. Better safe than sorry.
- Last but not least, remind them to buckle up. It doesn’t matter if they’re driving to the grocery store down the street or going on a road trip. About 75% of motor vehicle accidents occur within 25 miles of home and teen drivers are the least likely to wear a seatbelt, despite having the highest accident rate out of any other driving demographic.