After School Hours Are Dangerous For Teen Drivers

If you are like me, you have always been concerned about your teen driver children when they head out on the road at night. And you are right to be worried about them driving at night. That is a very dangerous time. But a recent study shows that the time right after school is also are very high risk time for teen drivers.

This study by AAA indicates that weekday afternoon driving time is just as dangerous for teens as night driving. The researchers studied the number of fatal crashes involving teens between 2002 and 2005. They found that 16 and 17 years olds were involved in almost as many fatal crashes between 3 and 5 pm on weekdays as they were on Friday and Saturday nights between 9 pm and 2 am. There were 1100 weekday fatal accidents and 1237 weekend evening fatal accidents.

So what can you as a parent do about this?

Well, here are several suggestions:
1. Establish some specific driving rules with your teen. Be consistent in enforcing both the rules and the consequences when the rules are broken.
Impose an absolute ban on cell phone use while your teen is driving. Don’t call them yourself when you know that they are driving.
Require that your teen use a seatbelt any and every time they are traveling in any vehicle whether as a driver or a passenger. You must do the same to reinforce the importance of this.
Don’t allow your teen driver to carry passengers during the first 3 months or more of driving. Let them get used to being out there on their own before they add the distractions of passengers.
Don’t permit your teen to ride with other teen drivers. I know this will be a hard sell in these times of high gas prices but until you know just how safe the other teen driver is, you really should not permit your child to ride with him or her.
Make your rules known to other adults in your teen’s life. This can help provide an extra set of eyes when you are not around.
Install a GPS monitoring system in your child’s car. When they know that you are watching all of the time, their driving habits will be safer.

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