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What Every Parent Should Know About Teen Driver Risks

Summer is fast approaching, and for many teens, that means increased freedom and the ability to spend more time with friends. It also is the season when many teen drivers spend more time on the road, and unfortunately, many end up in vehicle accidents. In fact, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has become known as the 100 Deadliest Days because of the number of people who die in crashes involving teen drivers.

This year, even more teens likely will be on the road as coronavirus restrictions lift. AAA safety experts are concerned that 2021’s 100 Deadliest Days could be more dangerous than ever as a result.

Teens and Risky Driving

If you are a parent with a teen driver, you need to know that driving inexperience often leads to teen vehicle accidents. Teens also are more likely to engage in reckless driving behavior, such as:

  • Speeding

  • Texting

  • Aggressive driving

  • Having too many passenger distractions while driving

  • Running red lights

  • Driving without a seat belt

Even teens listening to loud music can make more driver errors, increasing their risks of being involved in an accident.

How Parents Can Prevent Risky Teen Driving

As a parent, you can do the following to help prevent your teen from taking unnecessary risks while behind the wheel during summer’s 100 Deadliest Days:

  • Talk to your teenager about the importance of avoiding distracted driving, particularly texting and driving, and having too many passengers in their vehicle.

  • Have your teen sign a driving agreement, that sets your family rules and the consequences if your teen engages in risky driving behavior.

  • Make sure your teen has enough driving practice, at least 50 supervised hours.

  • Model safe driving behavior, especially avoiding distracted driving (which is very common among teen drivers and causes a significant number of accidents).

It’s difficult to know the increased risks your teen driver faces because of their inexperience and the temptation to engage in risky driving behaviors. However, by taking a proactive approach, you can help them understand their driving risks and how they can practice safer driving. As a result, you will help increase their chances of avoiding a crash and staying safe on the road this summer.