One of my first jobs in radio was working as a news reporter. I saw many terrible fires and car accidents in those first few years. When I was in high school one of my closest friends lost his 13 year old brother in a car accident involving a 17 year old driver. Most of us learn to drive when we are teenagers. I've taught three sons to drive while they were in their teens.
According to AAA the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the most dangerous times to drive because young drivers are out of school and on the road. In 2016 there were 1050 fatal car accidents involving teens. That's 10 people a day. Speeding and driving at night are the causes of most of these fatal accidents.
When I talked about this on my radio show yesterday several parents called and said "Thank You" because I urged young drivers not to speed. I told them they simply have no idea how hard it is to suddenly have to stop a car. Then I had a few suggestions for parents. Which I felt would be worth sharing on today's page.
The most important suggestion I can make to parents is to take responsibility for when their teen driver is ready to have a license. Don't leave it up to the state to decide if your son or daughter is ready. The state standard is a minimum. Kids worry more about parallel parking than getting on and off a highway safely or driving at safe speeds. Teach your son or daughter how to drive in difficult conditions like dangerous roads, construction zones and during storms. It will make them feel more confident and you will worry less when they hit the road without you.
When they do get their license remind them it just means they have minimum skills. They might think you are being intrusive but keep telling them you care about they way they drive. Part of that message will stay with them. To this day I always remind my sons to drive at or only slightly above the speed limit. They get annoyed but they know I care about them.
All young drivers will make mistakes. Hopefully, their mistakes won't cause a serious or fatal accident. When your son or daughter does get their first ticket and you feel they were being careless. let them suffer the full consequences. Don't pay the fine. If they get points and the cost of your insurances goes up. Make them pay for that too.
My apologies to my son James. I used his picture for this post.