Another school year is coming to an end. That means graduation parties and summer vacation. Unfortunately, what should be happy times all too often turn tragic. Summer is the deadliest time of year for teen drivers and their passengers. According to a recently released study by AAA, an average of 422 teens die each month in traffic accidents during summer compared to an average of 363 teen deaths during non-summer months. Both figures are far too high and one of the primary reasons why you can’t find cheap car insurance for your teenager. Here are some summer safe driving tips to keep your kid safer on the road this summer and help lower car insurance rates for your teen driver.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety claims that teen drivers are about 50% more likely to crash in the first month of driving on their own than after a full year of driving experience. Failure to reduce speed, distraction and failure to yield are the three most common mistakes that lead to first-month driving
accidents. If summer vacation coincides with your child’s first driver’s license, give genuine consideration to
granting driving privileges very gradually. Keep unsupervised driving to a minimum. Studies show that having a responsible older person in the car greatly improve a teen’s driving behavior. In gact, studies show that carrying at least one passenger aged 35 or older cuts a teen driver’s risk of death by 62% and the risk of involvement in a police-report accident by 46%.
If you can’t be along for the ride, limit the number of passengers your child can have. Compared to driving with no passengers, a 16- or 17-year old driver’s risk of death increases by 44% when carrying just one
passenger under 21 (with no adult passengers).
Eliminate night driving or restrict it to going to and from a job. Driving at night exacerbates all the challenges an inexperienced driver faces. 42% of fatal teen car crashes happen between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Stress that driving is a privilege, not a right. Many experts advise establishing clear rules in a written contract that the teen must agree to and sign as a condition of driving. If the rules are broken, make sure there are meaningful consequences.
Look into apps that monitor your child’s behavior behind the wheel and can disable mobile phone use for anything other than emergency use while the car is in motion.