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Thanksgiving dinner is notorious for awkward conversations, so if you want to avoid those dreaded discussions and focus on something else this year, we’ve got a recommended topic: safety.
Around the holidays, family members of all ages are gathered together, making it a perfect time for adults and younger relatives to talk. Safety – and specifically safe driving – is a great thing to discuss, as your teens can talk about the things they’re learning and your older family members can share insights into their own experiences behind the wheel. This is not only a great way to learn but also a chance to discuss common risks, such as distraction.
This sort of discussion is crucial, as Thanksgiving is typically a deadly time on our roads. According to estimates from the National Safety Council, 433 people may die on U.S. roads during this holiday period, from Wednesday evening through Sunday night. Another 49,400 people may suffer serious injuries from crashes during this period.
Keep these numbers in mind as you make decisions about travel for the holidays. Remember, while it’s good to give your teen more experience on the roads, it is generally safer for inexperienced drivers to avoid driving too late in the day or in poor conditions, such as winter weather.
And if you plan to do some holiday shopping over Thanksgiving weekend, don’t ignore the hazards posed by an increase in traffic. Malls and stores will be particularly busy this time of year and past surveys have shown that drivers are very likely to make calls, text and use social media apps while driving through parking lots, making it more dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians. Even if your teen isn’t the one driving from one store to the next, set a good example and put your phone away when behind the wheel.
As you prepare your turkey and get the pie in the oven, take one thing off your mind by making safe driving a dinner talking point. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
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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