AAA Offers Tips for Parents and Teens when Hitting the Road for the 4th

Keeping new drivers safe during the 100 deadly days of summer

highway with mountains trees in background

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., (June 30, 2015) – While the 4th of July weekend marks a welcome mid-summer break, it also marks the midway point in the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” for teen drivers. Among the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer is the second deadliest of month them all – July. According to IIHS(Insurance Institute of Highway Safety)  the studied deaths resulting from vehicle crashes 2013, July is the second deadliest month of the year, with 249 driving-related fatalities on average for teenagers.  In Virginia, there were 121,763 crashes during the year 2013, 19,558(16%) of those crashes involved drivers between the ages of 15-19.

AAA offers the following tips for parents

  • Eliminate trips without purpose. Limit teens’ driving to essential trips and only with parental permission for at least the first year of driving. Teens have three times as many fatal crashes as other drivers, based on the amount of miles driven.  The risk is even higher, during the first year of solo driving.
  • Limit passengers. Crash rates increase with each additional teen passenger in the vehicle. In fact, fatal crash rates for 16- to 19-year-olds increase fivefold when two or more teen passengers are present versus when teens drive alone. Parents should establish passenger limits for their teen drivers.  In Virginia only one teen passenger under the age of 21 (not including family members) is allowed during the first year of solo driving.
  • Restrict night driving. A teen driver’s risk of being involved in a deadly crash doubles at night. Many parents limit driving during the highest-risk late night hours ( between midnight and 5 am) but may want to consider limiting evening driving as well, as more than half of nighttime crashes occur between 9 p.m. and midnight.
  • Teach your teens how to drive. Summer offers the perfect opportunity for teens to practice driving and to gain experience through parent-supervised driving practice.  Parents can share their wisdom and experience accumulated over many years of driving. Even after a teen has a license that allows solo driving, parents and teens should continue to practice ‘commentary driving’ to help teens manage increasingly more complex and challenging driving conditions.
  • Establish a parent-teen driving agreement. Written agreements help set and enforce clear rules about night driving, passengers, access to the car, and more. AAA offers a parent-teen driving agreement on its teen driver safety website, http://teendriving.aaa.com/VA/.  The website also provides a variety of additional tools and resources for parents and teens as they progress through the learning-to-drive process.
  • Be there. Make sure your teen knows that if they need help, advice, or a ride, they can count on you. Extend this offer often and let your teen know that you are always available, and encourage them to call you should they need your help.

As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 325,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.  For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or on Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia

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