In an analysis of the top 100 deadliest driving days of the year for teen drivers, AAA found that 7 out of the top 10 deadliest days occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This means that Modern Family Parents should not take a vacation from monitoring their teen driver’s safety during the summer months.

 

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Summertime should mean a time when teens can drive themselves to summer jobs, summer classes, social events, and other fun times, but sometimes the relaxation of summer can cause both parents and kids to relax their safety standards behind the wheel as well.

SAFETY TIPS

AAA suggests the following to keep your teen driver safe this summer:

  1. Eliminate trips without a purpose: Teens have three times as many fatal crashes as adults, based on the amount of miles driven. The risk is highest during the first year of driving.
  2. Become a driving coach: The best way for teens to gain experience is through supervised practice. AAA suggest practicing challenging and stressful driving situations even after a teen gets his or her license
  3. Limit the number of passengers: Fatal crash rates for teens increase fivefold when two or more passengers are present.
  4. Restrict night driving: A teen’s chances of being involved in a crash doubles at night. More than half of nighttime crashes occur between 9:00 pm and midnight.
  5. Establish a parent-teen driving agreement: AAA offers a sample agreement, and says it helps parents and teens agree on the terms.

REVIEW FAMILY RULES

In addition, summer is also a great time to review your Modern Family’s Rules regarding your teen’s driving privileges, such as:

  • Guidelines regarding use of the car (i.e. teen needs to complete all chores and homework or car privileges are revoked)
  • Guidelines for paying for the upkeep of the car (i.e. gas, oil change, insurance, etc.)
  • Guidelines on who is allowed to ride in the car and when (know your state’s laws on this)
  • Guidelines on ELECTRONICS USE (PARENTING THE MODERN FAMILY RULE #3) while using the vehicle (we all know not to text while driving, but what about using the car’s GPS equipment, music system, etc. – Modern Parents should know their standards regarding the use of these modern conveniences).

HAVE A PLAN FOR DANGEROUS SITUATIONS

We might not like to think about it, but it’s also important to discuss with your child what to do if your teen driver gets involved in dangerous situations. This not only opens a discussion on how to handle these situations if they occur, but this conversation also opens the door for you to discuss how your child can avoid these situations in the first place. Your teen driver should know:

  • What to do if an accident occurs
  • What to do if your teen driver is running late
  • What to do if your teen driver makes a stupid mistake and drinks at a party

Modern Family Parents need to DO WHAT WORKS FOR THEIR FAMILY (Rule #1) so know your family’s standards and rules regarding the use of the car. Have a conversation with your teen driver today about automobile safety so that they have a fun and safe summer!

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