It can be a dangerous time for teenagers on the road, with experts now referring to the period between Memorial and Labor Day as the “100 Deadliest Days.”
New research from AAA shows 16 and 17-year-olds are 3 times more likely than adults to be involved in a fatal crash, with those crashes typically jumping by 15% over the summer.
And teens can be a greater threat to the public than even themselves.
“Our previous research actually showed that the vast majority of people that are injured and killed when a teen driver is behind the wheel is someone other than the teen,” said Jennifer Ryan, AAA.
What can parents do?
• Smartphone apps like “TrueMotion Family” can tell you whether your teen has been texting or calling while driving.
• Don’t allow your teen to drive at night… or with a car-full of their friends. Both increase the odds of a wreck.
• Last of all, set a good example. Use seatbelts -- and *don’t* use the phone, when YOU’RE behind the wheel.
Technology may also be able to help.
Several phone apps now allow parents to monitor teen drivers, letting them know if they are texting, speeding or driving outside a designated area. Some can also block texts or calls if a car is moving.
AAA recommends that parents try its online “StartSmart” program. The free webinar coaches on ways to manage a teen’s driving privileges.
Another tool is a parent-teen driving agreement that establishes ground rules. A version for download is available here.
Some automakers have also taken note, adding standard safety features that allow parents to set a maximum speed limit on their car and be notified if it goes outside a designated area, or is out past a certain time.