For high schoolers old enough to drive, the summer can be an incredible time. They may work a job to earn money for college or just go out to drive around with friends as a way of socializing and enjoying their time.
While your teenage driver may be eager to get out on the roads and enjoy a little freedom, you may want to talk with them about safety first. After all, the summer sometimes also gets called the 100 deadliest days for teenagers.
Fatal car crashes are a major risk for young drivers
Motor vehicle collisions are one of the top causes of death for teenagers. All too often, there will be a teenager driving when one of these fatal crashes occurs. Keeping your young adult safe might mean putting some limits on the freedom that they have during the summer in order to reduce the amount of risk they have.
Passengers are often a source of dangerous distraction
Cruising around with friends in a car could be a way to spend time without spending a lot of money, but there can be a lot of risks involved. Conversations and horseplay are a very dangerous form of distraction that inexperienced drivers may not be able to handle while also managing a motor vehicle. Limiting teen drivers to one passenger or not allowing them to drive their friends at all may be the best solution.
Make sure your teenager understands the risks of driving home from parties
Even the most well-behaved young adult could eventually succumb to peer pressure or curiosity and decide to overindulge in alcohol or recreational drugs while at a social gathering. Young adults who know they have broken household rules by drinking or trying drugs may worry about the consequences so much that they feel they have no option but to drive home in order to avoid suspicion.
Without the obligation to school during the summer, there will be more parties and more temptations in the summer. As a general rule, giving your teenager the equivalent of a get-out-of-jail-free card if they do the responsible thing by calling you when they know they can’t safely drive could help protect them from making a mistake that could cost their life. Knowing there won’t be a punishment could be enough to convince your teen to make a safe decision.
As with many things while raising a teenager, balancing their desires with safety can require a lot of effort and open communications, however, it is possible. If your teen driver is safe at the wheel but winds up hurt because someone else was not, your family may be able to take action against the driver who caused the crash.