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Memorial Day weekend serves as the unofficial kickoff to the summer driving season, when road trips and weekend drives push more and more people onto the roads. According to NSC estimates, as many as 380 people may be killed on the roads over Memorial Day weekend, serving as a serious reminder of the dangers that can come with these summer road trips.
In fact, the three major summer holidays – Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day – typically claim more than 110 lives each day.
Though authorities often take special steps to prepare for these risks, it is up to us all as drivers and passengers to make the biggest difference. Here’s what your teen can do to stay safe behind the wheel all summer long.
Practice Defensive Driving
Staying safe is all about anticipating the actions of other drivers. Teach your teen to always be on the lookout for risks and to be patient. It’s better to arrive a few minutes late than to never arrive at all.
Teens already have a tough time on the road due to their inexperience and impairment can drastically increase their risks. Make it clear: the safest strategy for any driver – especially teens – is to avoid any substance or condition that leads to impaired driving, including legal prescription drugs and a lack of sleep.
Practice with your Teen
There’s no substitute for safe driving practice, so even if your teen gets a license keep up your practice schedule this summer. Just 30 minutes a week can make a difference and ensure your teen always gets home safe.
Check your car for recalls
Before setting out on a road trip or long summer drive, check your vehicle for safety recalls to be sure it is safe to drive. This is an excellent lesson to teach your teen and inform them of how they can learn about open recalls on their own car.
Understand your vehicle’s safety systems
The new technology in modern vehicles can help us avoid crashes and injuries, but only if we use them correctly. Even somewhat older vehicles have some advanced features, so go through the manual with your teen and make sure you both understand how to use these systems to your advantage.
Follow these steps with your teen for fun, safe summer!
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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