Coming off the heels of Memorial Day weekend, many of us are looking forward to a summer season filled with barbecues and warm weather. But while Memorial Day may have signaled the unofficial start of summer, it also kicked off the most dangerous driving season for teens.
“The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is considered ‘The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer,’ for teen drivers, according to the National Safety Council. In fact, seven out of the top 10 deadliest driving days occur within the summer months, according to NSC.
One reason that summer is so dangerous for teen drivers is due to school being out. More teens are out on the road during this time of the year at any given time of the day, which is why it is very important to remind teens to stay safe behind the wheel.
To help raise awareness about the dangers of summer driving for teens, the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office recently launched the SafeSummerTN campaign. According to the campaign, “only 25 percent of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about driving.”
Make sure your teens know the dangers and are following these safe driving tips during the summer months:
Always Buckle Up – According to SafeSummerTN, teens are less likely to wear a seat belt. So before you or a family member puts the car in drive, make sure everyone buckles up. Drivers in the state of Tennessee are required to wear safety belts while operating a motor vehicle in Tennessee (TCA 55-9-603).
Avoid Distractions – Tell your teen to avoid distractions such as loud music and mobile devices. Also, make a family pact to not text and drive. Not only is texting and driving extremely dangerous, it’s also illegal in the state of Tennessee (TCA 55-8-199).
Don’t Drive After Drinking – According to the NSC, an alcohol-related driving death happens every 51 in the United States. The Tennessee Highway Patrol alone had 5,428 DUI Arrests from the fiscal year of 2011-2012. According to the law individuals are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of .08%.
Limit Passengers – It’s important that teen drivers focus when they’re behind the wheel. One way to help ensure this is to limit the number of passengers in a vehicle. The risk of a teen driver having a fatal crash increases by 44% when passengers are in a vehicle, according to the National Safety Council.
Make a Schedule and Curfew – Make sure teens keep to a schedule and have a set destination before they get behind the wheel.
Parents can find more information regarding Tennessee state driving laws here as well as on the SafeSummerTN website.