Remember when you graduated from high school? That first summer between high school and college is one that most of us will never forget. You probably took your very first road trip with friends right about now (and you more than likely did it without the aid of a navigation system or cell phone!), and that was your first taste of the freedom of the road. It tasted good, didn’t it? Now your teenagers want to do the same thing.
That thought stopped you in your tracks, didn’t it?
The start of summer begins the 100 Deadliest Days for teen drivers in the Hudson Valley.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why-
1- Healthyny.gov states that traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death for 16 – 17-year-olds in New York state. Lack of driving experience is a large part of the problem.
2- Having other teens in the car increases the chances of an accident. Passengers are just as distracting as cell phones.
3- Distracted driving is not limited to cell phones. Changing the radio station, sipping coffee, smacking your friend who’s sitting in the backseat, all of these things force novice drivers to take their minds and eyes off of the road.
4- Night driving takes a lot of practice. Do you remember the first time that oncoming headlights blinded you? Not a fun experience.
5- Many teens begin to experiment with alcohol right around the same time as they are experiencing the freedom of being solo behind the wheel. Drunk driving fatalities increase during the summer for that very reason.
We know how scary it is to have your teen behind the wheel, we’ve been there, and we have some tips that can help.
1- Talk to your teen about the The Courage To Intervene pledge. It takes courage to stop a friend or family member from getting into a car with an impaired driver, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
2- Practice good driving habits. Stay off of the phone when behind the wheel and tone down your road rage. If you do it, they will too.
3- Encourage them to put their phone in airplane mode whenever they are behind the wheel. #itcanwait
4- Consider enrolling them in drivers ed over the summer. It never hurts to learn safety skills before you take your first road trip.
5- Enroll in the NYS DMV TEENS program. TEENS is a program that notifies you whenever your teen has a traffic infraction, ticket, or license suspension placed on their DMV record. Click here to enroll in this free program.
Drive safe Hudson Valley.