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This Valentine’s Day, your teen may have his or her first experience showing love with chocolates, flowers and maybe even an expensive dinner. But before your teen heads out on the town, don’t forget to make safety behind the wheel a priority.
Whether it’s getting to a movie, a dinner date or just driving across town, a single teen passenger increases your new teen driver’s crash risk by 44 percent.
That means the best option is for you or another responsible adult to serve as the taxi, or in this case the limo driver, for your teen and his or her date.
Even if your teen has been driving long enough to have a passenger in the car, reinforce a few key driver safety points this Valentine’s Day:
Put the phone away If your teen driver needs to use the GPS to get to dinner, encourage him or her to let their date be the guide and handle the directions so they arrive safely. The same goes for music. Not only is this safer, but as a bonus it will give your teen some insight into their date’s favorite kinds of music.
Obey the speed limit Many couples make reservations for dinner, only to find themselves rushing to make it on time. Help your teen to plan accordingly so they don’t rush; No meal is worth the risk of getting in a crash.
Do not drive impaired Special nights are often correlated with drinking, but remind your teen that there is zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. In fact, no type of impairment is acceptable, including alcohol, drugs – even prescription – and fatigue.
Valentine’s Day can be exciting, but point out to your teen that taking time for safety is its own way of expressing love – that’s what you’re doing by serving as the ‘limo’ driver – and that this should go beyond the holiday. Whether or not it’s with a special someone, your teen should practice safe driving habits all year long.
DriveitHOME™ is an initiative of the National Safety Council, designed by and for parents of newly licensed teen drivers. DriveitHOME™ offers free resources parents can use to help their teen build experience to become safer drivers.
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