by: Ursula Nizalowski
With school out for the summer, teenagers that have a driver’s license enjoy taking this precious time to go wherever they want in their cars. But whether the car is theirs or their parents’, it’s always important to be safe no matter the time of year. Though this is especially the case during the summer, as there tend to be more accidents compared to the winter according to several US Department of Transportation statistics posted on the Insurance Information Institute’s website. Now assuming these statistics haven’t changed much, we should focus on making a teen’s summer driving experience as accident-free as possible. So here are some tips to follow regardless if you’re a teen driver or the parent of one.
Preparing Your Car for Summer Weather
One of the many causes for car accidents is faulty tires. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a survey in 2012 that showed “9 percent (189,917) of the estimated total” number of crashes between 2005 to 2007 were caused by tires in some way. Thus, it wouldn’t hurt to check the air pressure in one’s tires and replace them if need be.
As the weather gets hotter, so does the risk of straining the car battery. That’s because “Hot summer temps drive up the heat under the hood and accelerate the onset of battery failure” according to Consumer Reports. And if the car battery is old, this could spell trouble for the driver meaning it should be tested at a local repair shop.
Watch Fluid Levels
Safety Insurance states “Too little engine coolant/antifreeze can lead to overheating,” which is no fun during the summer. Therefore, one should make sure the different fluids in a car are at solid levels. Plus, they’re easy to buy as they can be found at gas stations and in stores such as Target.
What To Do On The Road
Compared to adults, teenagers have less control over their emotions and therefore are more prone to getting frustrated. While such behavior can be troublesome in general, it can be dangerous on the road since the frustration caused by unpredictable factors like traffic jams and aggressive drivers increases the risk of getting into an accident. So American Family Insurance advises that teens should be taught “how to let go of the frustration that happens when encountering rude drivers or unexpected situations”.
Keep An Eye On Speed
In addition to faulty tires, speeding is another common cause for car accidents. Whether the driver is in a hurry or being careless, that’s no excuse to risk one’s life to get somewhere more quickly. Speeding can “also waste gas” according to Safety Insurance, which means having to spend more money than is necessary.
Because every driver is responsible for their own safety, it’s their job to not get distracted and concentrate on what’s happening in the road. After all, lots of unpredictable things can happen as stated before. Therefore it’s better to be alert than to be thrown completely off-guard by something unanticipated.
What Not To Do On The Road
Rush Through Traffic
Apart from being more prone to emotions, impatience is another defining element among teens. So they may be more tempted than adults to meet up with their friends as quickly as possible by rushing along busy roads. But it’s actually better to drive defensively, because “Defensive drivers get into fewer accidents” Safety Insurance says.
Text While Driving
Despite sounding like a cliche at this point, it’s no joke that texting on a cellphone while driving is incredibly dangerous. Not only is it a major distraction but it also increases the chance of an accident. That’s why American Family Insurance insists that teenagers shouldn’t use their cellphones while they drive.
Since underage drinking is a major issue that affects teenagers in the US every year, it’s important to consider the risks when driving under the influence of alcohol. Because “no matter how much a person has had to drink, it can still impair their driving” as stated by American Family Insurance. For this reason, being sober while driving is much safer than being drunk.
Now even with all of the above tips on summer driving for your teens, it doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of an accident. So when that happens, be sure to contact attorney Rick Wagner.