Car Accident Lawyer
The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, known as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer,” poses increased risks for teenage drivers. With school breaks, more free time, and increased social activities, teens may engage in riskier behaviors behind the wheel. And as an experienced car accident lawyer – including those who practice at Tuttle Larsen, P.A. – can confirm, these riskier behaviors too often lead to injurious – and even fatal – accidents. As a result, it is important for parents to understand both the reality of this situation and how to keep their teens safer while they’re behind the wheel – and traveling as passengers in other teens’ vehicles – this summer.
Education and Communication
Proper education and open communication about safe driving practices are essential for teenage drivers:
- Driver’s Education: Ensure that your teen completes a comprehensive driver’s education program that emphasizes safe driving skills, knowledge of traffic laws, and defensive driving techniques.
- Set Clear Expectations: Clearly communicate your expectations regarding safe driving behaviors to your teen. Emphasize the importance of obeying speed limits, avoiding distractions, wearing seat belts, and never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Discuss Risks and Consequences: Engage in honest conversations about the risks and potential consequences of reckless driving behaviors. Discuss statistics, share real-life stories, and emphasize the impact of poor decisions on themselves, passengers, and other road users.
Establishing and enforcing rules for teenage drivers can help mitigate risks during the 100 deadliest days of summer:
- Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) Programs: Familiarize yourself with your state’s GDL program and ensure your teen follows the specific restrictions and requirements. These programs often include limits on nighttime driving, passenger restrictions, and stricter cellphone usage rules.
- Parent-Teen Driving Contracts: Consider creating a parent-teen driving contract that outlines the rules and expectations for safe driving. Include consequences for breaking these rules, such as loss of driving privileges or increased parental supervision.
- Supervised Practice: Encourage supervised practice driving even after teens receive their driver’s licenses. Continue riding with them to offer guidance, correct any unsafe behaviors, and gradually increase their driving independence as they gain experience.
Promoting Responsible Decision-Making
Empowering teens to make responsible decisions behind the wheel is crucial for their safety:
- Impaired Driving Awareness: Educate your teen about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other impairing substances. Encourage them to plan alternative transportation options or reach out for assistance if they find themselves in a situation where they are unable to drive safely.
- Distracted Driving Prevention: Emphasize the importance of eliminating distractions while driving. Discuss the dangers of cellphone use, eating, grooming, or engaging in any other activities that take their attention away from the road. Require either the use of hands-free devices or turning off cellphones altogether to minimize distractions.
- Peer Pressure and Passenger Management: Discuss the impact of peer pressure on driving behaviors and encourage your teen to make responsible decisions, even when influenced by friends. Limit the number of passengers in the vehicle to reduce distractions and potential risky behaviors.
During the 100 deadliest days of summer, it is crucial to implement safety measures that prioritize the well-being of teenage drivers. Remember, maintaining an ongoing dialogue with your teen and leading by example are powerful tools in ensuring their safety on the road. A failure to be proactive in this regard can, very unfortunately, result in injurious crashes and potential liability.