Since school is out for the summer, plenty more teens will be out on the roads. Whether your child drives every day for their seasonal job or drives to meet up with friends at night, parents should refresh their children on driving tips.
The sad truth is thousands of teen drivers die and or face injuries due in car crashes every year. So as more young drivers have more free time, it’s important to reiterate the dangers of distracted driving and summer-specific driving obstacles.
Distract driving can be deadly
Many drivers are guilty of distracted driving — from eating fast food to changing up the music. These habits can be dangerous for even the most experienced drivers, since it only takes a few seconds to veer or collide with another car or something else on the road. And since teens are more likely to speed and leave less space between them in the driver in front of them, the potential collision could happen quicker and include greater injuries.
A major source of distraction for drivers of any age are cell phones. To help your teen keep driving their only focus behind the wheel, remind them to keep their cell phone tucked away. Encourage them to make playlists before they head out, or help them with navigation before they leave for a journey that requires them to take roads or highways they haven’t previously driven on.
Importance of preparation
Since Florida can be sunny one minute and rainy the next, it’s important to encourage teen drivers to check the weather before leaving. Remind them to keep a pair of sunglasses in their car and to wait out rain if they feel even slightly anxious to drive in it.
You should also include your child in trips to the local auto shop for seasonal maintenance. In any season, there are fluids and other components that the weather can negatively impact. Instead of having your experience a risky summer tire blowout or an overheated engine, teach them that a healthy car is a safer car.
Teen drivers will automatically become more attentive and skilled with practice. But keep in mind that even after your child passes a driver’s test, they might still need some guided practice with you. Take advantage of your paid-time-off you might have to go on a longer driving trips with your child. Letting them drive more is key, and switching seats so they can observe you can also be useful.