To many, Independence Day conjures up visions of picnics and barbecues, a festive day to be together with friends and family. Sadly, for many Pennsylvania teen motorists and their friends and family, it often becomes the date that is long remembered for major motor vehicle accidents, accompanied by serious bodily injury or even death.
Accident statistics show that the July 4 constitutes the single deadliest day for teen drivers nationwide. Teen motorists are then on the road, done with school and looking forward to the freedom of summer. Experts say there also is less adult supervision and more risk-taking with peers. All too often, beer goes along with the bratwurst on the Fourth of July holiday, leading to underage drinking and impaired driving.
Safety experts say there are a variety of simple methods parents can employ to cut down on the risks of teen accidents, including limiting the number of young passengers teen drivers can carry, limiting nighttime driving and unneeded trips, and explaining to teen drivers the folly of texting or using cellphones when their full attention needs to be on the road ahead.
It can also be beneficial for parents or other responsible adults to more frequently go along with teen motorists as they are driving, while at the same time giving them needed instruction and guidance. Teen motorists in Pennsylvania are required to accumulate a total of 65 supervised hours of practice driving for licensing purposes, providing ample opportunity for a parent to make sure that good responsible driving habits are developed.
With Independence Day right around the corner, be sure to talk to your teen driver today about the safe driving habits. The conversation could end up saving his or her life.
Source: CBS Philly, “Deadliest Day For Teenage Drivers Just Around The Corner,” Mark Abrams, June 11, 2012