4 Summer Driving Tips for Teens

A teen driver adjusting his rear-view mirror.During the summer months, your teen drivers have more free time since they’re out of school and enjoying the break. During this vacation time, teens are more likely to spend more time behind the wheel, which can increase the risk of car accidents. Summer driving is also more dangerous, so it’s important to protect your teenagers with some helpful driving tips.

No Phone Zone

Distracted driving is a serious problem on the roads, and teenagers make up a¬†higher risk group of distracted drivers. Most teens are newer to the driving experience, so they need to pay close attention and focus on what they’re doing instead of looking at their phones. In addition to their inexperience, teenage drivers are more likely to speed and less likely to wear seat belts, so those risk factors, coupled with distractions, make for a dangerous situation.

Before your son or daughter gets behind the wheel, make sure they understand the risks of distracted driving. Texting, looking for a playlist, scrolling through social media, or surfing the web can all cause serious distractions, so phones should be completely off-limits to the driver.

Slow Down

DMV statistics show that the majority of teenagers drive faster than the speed limit, which can increase the risk of an accident and cause more severe injuries if a crash occurs. Talk to your teens about speeding, and make sure they understand the risks. Driving too fast could cause an accident, but the risk of being pulled over and cited is great, as well. If your teen gets a ticket, your insurance rates will skyrocket, so this is an issue you’ll definitely want to avoid.

Stiffen the penalty for your teen by enforcing a policy that requires them to pay the difference on the insurance policy if they get a ticket for speeding.

Never Use Alcohol or Drugs

Driving while under the influence is a serious situation. Establish a no-tolerance policy when it comes to drinking or using drugs and driving. Although teenagers are statistically less likely to drink and drive, the¬†risk of crashing among those who do make this bad decision is higher. A DUI could impact the rest of your teenager’s life, so it’s never worth it.

Maintain the Vehicle

Regular maintenance is necessary to keep a vehicle in good working condition. Every car needs oil changes, brake checks, fluid flushes, tire rotations, and other maintenance services to remain functional. Failure to maintain a vehicle puts the driver and passengers at risk, as well as other drivers on the road. Make sure your teenager understands the importance of vehicle maintenance and where to go for service. Before heading out on a road trip, it’s smart to get the vehicle checked out by a mechanic to make sure it’s up for the adventure.

Help keep your teenage drivers safer during the summer months by sharing these tips with them. You might also consider implementing a driving contract to boost safety and keep them accountable for their actions when they’re behind the wheel.

Teen Driver‘ via Flickr by State Farm. Used with permission via CC BY 2.0 / cropped from original