As the holiday season rolls around, visiting parents of teens or freshmen are a little surprised when every second of free time is spent with friends or during the holiday season. Your teenager may be asking for extended curfews and car use, but do you really know on vacation where your teenage driver is and what he is doing? The Christmas season is statistically a more dangerous time on American roads, increasing the potential risk of driving accidents among teenagers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among teens ages 16-19 due to many factors, including lack of steering wheel experience and risky driving behavior. Does your teenage driver have the knowledge and experience to navigate the roads safely in high season?
Driving deaths during vacation
In the latest death statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Thanksgiving 2010 turned out to be the deadliest holiday of the year with 431 deaths in a car accident. Because many people drive to their destination on Thanksgiving, the roads are often crowded with drivers who may be distracted, sleepy, aggressive or even drunk. In the days after Thanksgiving and before other major holidays, such as Christmas, roads can still be busier and congested than usual, with drivers heading to a party, buying last-minute gifts or keeping up with old friends and visiting relatives. Depending on what state you live in, Christmas time can also be a snowy time of year, making it difficult to get around, especially if the roads are covered in ice.
Remind your teen to drive safely
Many teens have their own cars and feel they have the privilege of coming and going as they please, especially during school holidays, work or activities outside of school. If you have a young student visiting during the holidays, you may suddenly feel that you as a parent are daring or have too many rules. They may expect you not to hand over your car keys without question. But before you "free" your teen from the house and let him out of the car to visit friends or attend parties, it is always wise to establish some ground rules or update his memory on a behavior: safe driving. Sure, she can roll her eyes and protest that you're treating her like a girl, but remember that you'll probably pay for the insurance and the car so she can save a few minutes. If you have a student visiting out of town, they may not have used a car on campus, which means they may not have driven from home the last time they were home (which may have been months); a booster will certainly not hurt.
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Need a reason to talk to your teen before getting behind the wheel? Studies show that an "involved" parent results in fewer accidents among teens associated with risky behaviors. Here are some things to keep in mind before handing over the keys:
Set guidelines: Talk to your teen about where they are going, who they are going with, when you expect them to be home, and how often you want them to see you. Many older teens can handle their "own" curfew, but it all depends on their expectations as a home. Many parents accept a mild curfew, provided they know where their teenager is. You can consider putting a curfew on "driving time" because statistics show that the deadly time for teens is between 6 p.m. and midnight on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Push Seat Belt Act: If you're an inflexible user, your teen probably is too. It is incomprehensible to many that motorists still do not wear seat belts, but many fatal crashes (which would otherwise be preventable) occur because a driver or passenger was not wearing a seat belt. Remind your teen to tighten up and follow the law.
Defensive vs. Aggressive Driving: Many young drivers tend to behave more aggressively and are not qualified enough to drive defensively. Aggressive driving is about speed, not using turn signals, going forward or entering and exiting lanes. Defensive driving is the opposite and is actually the way of driving when it comes to avoiding an aggressive driver. While it's easy to go wrong, defensive driving requires practice and the driver's full attention.
Eliminate the Distraction - Your teenager probably has an unhealthy attachment on the edge of their cell phone and is constantly texting. Remind your teen to put their phone out of range and stop taking selfies with their camera app while driving. Using a cell phone should be avoided at all costs, and if you really need the phone you should park on the side of the road, put on your turn signals / blinkers and make your phone call. Also, remind your child that loud music and a car full of friends can make someone forget they are driving. Sure, it's fun to be young and carefree, but it can easily get sloppy if there are too many distractions.
Driving under the influence of alcohol / drugs: All parents expect their underage adolescents or students not to drink or manufacture drugs, but many adolescents, interviewed anonymously, admitted to having used drugs and alcohol on weekends or at parties. If your teen is going to drink even a small drink for an extended period of time, remind them not to drink or get in a car with a friend or an adult who has been drinking or making substances. While the dangers of drunk driving have been repeated time and time again, young people are subject to the pressure and curiosity of their peers.
Driving After Dark: Any parent of a teenager can agree that teenagers have wacky sleep plans. It's impossible to get him out of bed in the morning, but as school vacation or a weekend approaches, your teen may spend the night for several days in a row. However, drowsy driving is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. If your teenager plans to stay up all night, try encouraging them to stay with a friend and keep an eye on them before they get home.
The holidays don't have to be a time to struggle with your teenage driver. As a parent and someone who likely pays for auto insurance, gasoline, and auto repairs, it's not unreasonable for you to have expectations about how your teenager chooses to drive and someday, he will realize that you have just done your job. . The holidays are a great time to build high quality family bonds, not a trip to the hospital because your teenager has been involved in an accident caused by reckless behavior.