Summer vacation is a treacherous time for teen drivers

You have watched your child grow from a completely dependent infant into the adventurous teen they are today. Now, they are ready to take on the world. You, however, still have some lingering apprehension.

The newfound freedom of a driver’s license might not make it any easier for parents to let go. Alabama roads are full of risks, especially during the summer months. The National Safety Council refers to June through August as the “100 deadliest days” for teens. While they are celebrating vacation and working at summer jobs, parents can take an active role in their safety.

Explain top crash factors

Teens lack experience behind the wheel and might not recognize all roadway hazards. It may be helpful to review these risks – even if they recently completed their driver’s education course.

Speeding, drunk driving and fatigued driving are obvious issues, but distracted driving can be slightly tougher to define. Food, music, other passengers, phones and GPS devices are common disruptions. Teens are certainly not the only ones who text and drive, but they can always use a reminder to wait until parked.

Teach them what to do in an accident

It’s common for teens to panic during their first crash. Preparation can help them respond to an accident in a way that protects their health and sets them up for the best resolution possible.

As a reminder, the steps after a crash include:

  1. Call 911 if anyone is in pain or visibly hurt
  2. Pull to the side of the road if safe and turn on hazards
  3. Exchange names and insurance details with the other driver
  4. Take photos or write down injuries and damage
  5. Call mom or dad for help (if preferred)

Many parents have a hard time letting go when their child seems to spend more time away from home than ever. This summer, your teen can practice good driving to stay safe behind the wheel.

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