Summer is a favorite time of year for many young people, who often celebrate things like graduation, prom and months of freedom from school schedules. Of course, this also means that a lot of young people are on the roads, driving themselves to summer jobs, the beach and other locales. No matter where they are going, teen drivers should be aware of the dangers on the road and take steps to prevent accidents from happening.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that up to 10 percent of accidents that resulted in injury in 2011 were the result of distracted driving. This affected nearly 387,000 people across the U.S. While these types of accidents could happen to anyone, the most dangerous time for young drivers is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. According to AAA, seven of the top 10 deadliest days for drivers occur in this short time span.
Several organizations have launched campaigns to spread the word about safe driving, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' "Decide to Drive" effort and the teenSMART program from ADEPT Driver.
One of the most important things these motorists can do is stay focused when behind the wheel.
"For young drivers - or any driver, for that matter - their first priority is the safe operation of their car or truck, which means eyes on the road and hands on the wheel," said Robert Strassburger, vice president of Auto Alliance.
There are also a few other things motorists can do before they enter traffic to make the entire driving experience safer for everyone. You should adjust all seats and mirrors, as well as fasten your seatbelt and select your chosen radio station and volume, before getting on the road, which can help to prevent fiddling with the seat and dashboard later on in your drive. Avoiding situations where you may be eating or trying to multitask while driving is also essential, as it allows you to stay completely focused on controlling the vehicle.
If you're concerned about the safety or performance of a vehicle, you should take it in to a local auto repair franchise for a car tune up. Knowing that a vehicle is capable of handling inclement weather and heavy use can certainly ease your mind, and you'll be relieved to know safety features and basic functions of the car are working at a high level when a loved one gets behind the wheel.