Tips for Teens Driving During Spring Break and the Rest of the Year

Teens often think of breaks in their routines as a chance to break free from responsibilities.  Yet it can be a cruel twist of fate that often a well-deserved vacation, such as spring break, can prove to be a perilous time for teens of driving age.

Spring Break comes with a significant increase in the number of teens on the road. In light of this, it’s important to keep in mind that nearly 6,000 U.S. teens are killed and approximately 300,000 injured in automobile crashes annually. To keep your teen driver safe during spring break, Encompass Insurance suggests that you consider the following guidelines for safe driving:

  • Limit the number of passengers in the car. Teens are likely to have more trouble focusing on the road with laughter, music, food and other distractions — all of which increase with the number of passengers.
  • Establish and enforce a house curfew. Check with your local police department to see if your town has a curfew for minors. If not, set your own.
  • Insist that your teen and any passengers always use seat belts. Teens tend to wear seat belts less often than other drivers. Remind your teens that the presence of airbags does not mean they can ignore seat belts.
  • Make sure your teen keeps the cell phone turned off. Teens may love talking and texting, but doing so while driving is a dangerous distraction. Talking on a cell phone can give a teen the reaction time of a 70-year old.
  • Limit or supervise your teen’s driving during times of high risk. The highest number of fatal teen driving accidents occur on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m.
  • Set driving area limits. If your teens wants to travel outside your town or city, require that they request special permission.
  • Prohibit driving or riding with others under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your teens should know that you will always be willing to pick them up rather than have them risk driving after they have been drinking or riding with a driver who has been drinking. Consider revoking driving privileges for a period of time if your teens place themselves in these dangerous situations.

 

Brigette Clyborne

bclyborne@vanbeurden.com