Teens love their freedom, but this doesn't mean that their freedom equals recklessness. Parents actively talking to their teens about safe driving helps drive the message home. I often hear from parents that Washington's graduated licensing laws are too restrictive and create a hardship, so they knowingly allow their teens to violate the graduated licensing laws. Why are these laws in place? They help keep teens focused on the road. Passengers are often a huge distraction for teen drivers, and one moment of inattention can have deadly consequences.
This summer, when you are laying out the ground rules for your teens about their summer, include a conversation about safe driving. Remind them to put their phones away - better yet - turn them off! Remind them that seatbelts are NOT optional. All occupants of the vehicle must be properly restrained before the vehicle moves. Remind them that if occupants are being disruptive, that they need to safely pull over and tell their friends/family members that they need to concentrate on driving. Remind them that they are in control of that vehicle and the responsibility is great.
Visit the National Safety Council website for more tips and information. And have a safe summer!