Schools are out and summer is here. It’s time for teens to kick back, relax, and enjoy a little break before the start of the next school year. It’s also the start of the 100 Deadliest Days. This is the time between Memorial Day and when kids head back to school and it’s a dangerous time for teen drivers.
According to AAA, an average of 1,022 people died during this time period in each of the last five years in crashes involving teen drivers. No matter the time of year, teen drivers don’t have the best record. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death between the ages of 15 and 20 and teens have an 89.2% chance of being involved in a crash during their first three years of driving
Don’t panic and take away your teen’s keys. Instead, make sure they know basic safety and maintenance and consider signing them up for a driving class that goes beyond what they learned in driver’s education.
Following basic car maintenance is one step toward keeping teen drivers safe. This includes checking tire pressure, changing the oil, and keeping an eye on the tire treads. Your teen might not know how to do these things, but don’t just do it for them. Show them how to perform these safety checks so they can continue to keep their car maintained even if you’re not there to double-check.
To give your teen better driving skills and help them do the right thing when things go wrong, take a look at driving classes that cover more than the basics of standard driver’s education. Most of us learn the hard way how to handle slippery conditions, what our cars do when we slam on the brakes in a panic stop, and what it feels like to swerve at high speeds.
It’s frightening and the less experience a driver has when those things happen, the greater the chances that driver won’t know quite what to do. Rather than waiting and hoping your teen does the right thing, a driving class that lets them experience these challenging situations will leave them better prepared.
Tire Rack’s Street Survival course is one of the classes available to teen drivers. It’s offered throughout the country with the goal of teaching teens how to control their cars in unpredictable situations. Knowing what will happen helps teens react more quickly and keeps them safer on the roads.
You can’t put them in a bubble, but you can make your teen a safer driver by teaching proper car maintenance and helping them learn the skills they need to handle unexpected situations on the road.