This Thanksgiving weekend, drivers of every age will hit the road to head back home and spend time with their loved ones. Before your teen gets behind the wheel, help him or her prepare and stay safe.
The National Safety Council estimates that 421 people may be killed on U.S. roads this holiday weekend, and another 48,500 may be seriously injured. Some of the major risks this weekend include driving at night, thanks to fewer daylight hours, the potential for inclement weather and distracted and impaired drivers on the road. NSC estimates that a full third of the fatalities this weekend will involve alcohol-impaired drivers. Though these dangers affect all drivers, teens face additional risks due to their inexperience.
Besides the busy highways, another risk to talk to your teen about is safe driving in parking lots. As the kickoff to the holiday shopping season, this weekend will see an influx of shoppers around malls and department stores. To stay safe, teens should pay special attention in areas with pedestrians, even when driving slow.
Some simple tips for your teen:
- Buckle up on every trip
- Get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigued driving
- Prepare for dangerous road conditions with an emergency kit in your car
- Avoid driving with passengers. A single teen passenger increases a teen driver’s crash risk by 44 percent.
- Use caution when driving at night. Teens are three times as likely to be in a fatal car crash at night than during the day.
- Avoid all cell phone use while behind the wheel, including hands-free.
Thanksgiving weekend is a time for celebrating with family and friends, but safety cannot take a backseat. Sign a New Driver Deal and talk to your teen about smart driving decisions to ensure you can all enjoy this time together.