In New Jersey and around the country, the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is often referred to as the 100 deadliest days of summer. During this time, there is a dramatic increase in the number of teenage vehicle crashes and fatalities.
More than 7000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving teenage drivers from 2010 through 2019 during the period, and many believe that parents are the first line of defense to prevent this from happening to their teenagers. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you have a teen who will be driving this summer.
Understanding the cause
Researchers have discovered the main cause of teen motor vehicle accidents is distracted driving. Texting while driving and talking on a cell phone can certainly be a factor in distracted driving. However, studies show that most teenage driver distraction comes from other passengers. Interestingly, 15% of crashes involving teens were caused by distractions from passengers verses 12% caused by cell phone usage while driving.
Educating your teen driver
Parents must continually remind their young drivers of the dangers of distracted driving and of the responsibility they have as drivers to protect others. Caution teenagers to never touch their cell phones while driving and to concentrate on speed limits and highway laws. Remember, teenagers might not be capable of fully understanding the risk they take to themselves and others when they get behind the wheel. It is up to the parents to help them take their responsibility as a driver as seriously as possible.
Be the best example possible
Your children pay attention to how you conduct yourself behind the wheel. Therefore, it is important that you take steps to prevent an automobile accident by not using your cell phone and by paying attention to your surroundings while driving.
It is also important to offer reassurance to your children that you will pick them up if they have been drinking, or that you will be there to help them if they experience a mechanical issue with their car. Giving your teenager the confidence to know they can rely on you for help can go a long way in preventing a deadly accident.