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Safe Summer Driving Tips for Teens

Summer months, specifically between Memorial Day and Labor Day, are historically the most dangerous months for teen drivers. The roads are busy with vacationers, college students returning home, and teens traveling between social activities and summer jobs. We understand that handing the keys over to a new driver can be equally nerve wracking as it is exciting. To help keep your teenager safe and informed, we put together the following guidelines.

Do Not Drink and Drive: Teenage drivers and alcohol are a lethal combination. Remind your teen that drinking under the age of 21 is against the law in Massachusetts and even a small amount of alcohol can impair their ability to drive safely. It is important to  talk to your teenager about alternatives if he or she is tempted to drive home after drinking — they could have a friend drive, use a ridesharing service, or call you for a ride home.

Wear A Seatbelt: Seatbelts have been proven to reduce rates of serious injuries and death in car accidents. Make it a rule for your teen to wear a seatbelt every time he or she gets into a vehicle, whether they are driving or in the passenger seat - and remind your teen that it is a law in Massachusetts to wear a seatbelt, whether you are the driver or passenger. Model this behavior by wearing a seatbelt yourself.

Watch Your Speed: While driving through neighborhoods, be on the lookout for children playing and oncoming cars. According to DoSomething.org, the crash risk for teens increases incrementally with each mile per hour over the speed limit. An advantage of taking it slow? A lower speed means better gas mileage!

Reduce Night Driving: Did you know that 17% of teen fatalities occur between 9pm and midnight, and 26% of crashes occur between midnight 6am? It’s important for teens to reduce night driving. For parents, night driving can be prevented by giving your teen a curfew and being aware of when and where your child is driving.

Turn the Music Down: Teens love listening to music, and most teens love listening to music as loud as they can. Encourage your teen to turn off the radio to focus on the road.

Limit Passengers: When a teen is driving, an additional passenger with them increases the risk of the driver getting into a car crash by 50%. If two or more passengers are present, the odds are five times as likely. Limit how many passengers your teen can drive and make sure you know your state’s passenger laws.

Drive A Safe Car: Your teen does not need to drive their dream car immediately. Teach your teen to check tire pressure, how to look for wear and tear on tires, make sure all the lights work, the brakes are in good condition, and the airbags are functioning properly. Check out this list of the best and safest cars for teens.

Summer is a great time to get out, see friends, and enjoy the nice weather. Your friends at Gaudette Insurance want you to be safe and be aware of yourself, your surroundings, and your fellow motorists.