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Summer is here! For many adults that does not really mean more than extra daylight hours and warmer weather. Our lives do not really change much in the summer as most of us still go to work as we do throughout all the other seasons. However, summer represents change for many teenagers across the country. This summer is the first summer many teens will be able to drive.

These news drivers are undoubtedly eager to get behind the wheel and enjoy three school free months behind the wheel. Not surprising is that many parents are slightly less eager. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the approximate three month span from Memorial Day – Labor is the deadliest time of year for drivers 15-20.

According to many traffic safety experts fatalities increase among teenage drivers in the summer because many teens experience an increased amount of free time and a simultaneous decreased amount of supervision. For many teens, everyday might as well be a Saturday or a Sunday throughout the summer. In that same respect, every night might as well be a Friday or Saturday night. This means, teens are out driving more at night when driving conditions become more difficult.

Throughout the school year, Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. – midnight are the deadliest hours of the week for teenagers. Since many teens may have three months of nonstop Friday and Saturday nights its necessary that they understand the importance of driver safety.

Many teen crashes are caused by either inexperience or immaturity (or both). Many of the crashes that occur during the school year are caused by the former. During the summer, more often than not the latter seems to be the cause as teenagers have more free time with their friends they opt to drive around aimlessly in search of something to do. In many cases useless driving can lead to risk taking, which can lead to crashes.

Consider limiting your teens driving privileges throughout the first summer her or she has a drivers license. This can help avoid some of the risky behaviors and immature actions. For example, only allowing your teen to drive when there is a clear set destination will help to eliminate most of the useless driving that tends to lead to risky behaviors. Also, limiting the amount of driving your teenager is able to do at night will cut down on the amount of time he or she spends behind the wheel in more dangerous driving conditions. Another helpful way to keep your teen safe is to limit the amount of passengers he or she is allowed to have in the vehicle at a certain time.

Establishing a clear and concise set up penalties for breaking any of the limitations you set will help ensure your teen takes these rules seriously. A good start is completing a Teen Driving Contract that you and your child will sign outlining the consequences.

To help your new teen driver gain confidence and a better understanding of driving conditions a Parent Teen Driving Handbook includes New Driver Log Book, Checklist for Parents and Evauation Report and material to create your own Parent-Teen Driving Contract.

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