Summer offers excitement, adventure and freedom for teenagers new to driving. However, it can also be a hazardous time for young motorists.
Teenagers and their parents can benefit from understanding the risks of driving in the summer as well as the steps families can take to prevent and address accidents when they occur.
Risks factors for young drivers
Many teens go on summer vacation from school and use their free time to socialize with friends and pursue their hobbies. Others take on summer jobs or volunteering opportunities. Often teenagers drive more in summer than during the school year. Furthermore, teenagers may be more likely to travel with friends during summer, which can cause distractions.
It is also common for teenagers to learn to drive and obtain their first permit or license during the summer when their schedules are more flexible. Inexperienced drivers sometimes lack the knowledge and ability to avoid traffic incidents.
Protecting your teen during summer
Parents can take steps such as setting curfews, limiting passengers and discussing the dangers of distracted and intoxicated driving with their teens. It is important to encourage responsible conduct for teenagers, including wearing seatbelts and avoiding cell phone use while driving. Teens should always follow the restrictions that apply to young motorists under Ketucky’s Graduated Driver Licensing Program.
When an accident happens, parents can help teens by seeking prompt medical care, even if there are no major injuries. Documenting the accident, getting contact information from witnesses and obtaining police reports can also be useful. Parents whose teens are in car accidents can file insurance claims and consult personal injury attorneys regarding legal options for seeking compensation.
Although summer can be risky for young drivers, parents can provide guidance, set boundaries and take steps to protect their teens.