Summer Safety Tips for Teens
It’s finally here! Your summer break has started, and you can’t wait to load your friends into the car and head out to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. At Waterloo Automotive, we say go for it! You’ve worked hard and you deserve a break. Just be safe in the meantime. Because we care about our customers, we encourage you to use wisdom when you’re behind the wheel and remember that there are other drivers out there counting on you to be responsible.
Consumer Reports recently published a great list of driving tips for teenagers. Check out their top 10 below:
- Buckle up. Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use, and the majority of teens involved in fatal crashes are unbelted.
- Put down the phone. Sixteen percent of all teen drivers involved in fatal crashes are distracted. Texting or talking on the phone combined with inexperience behind the wheel is a recipe for disaster. Plus, it’s illegal for teens to text and drive in both Kansas and Missouri.
- Limit passengers. Don’t let your car be the party bus. Friends in the car can be a serious distraction. Limit how many passengers you transport. Most graduated licensing laws already set limits, but make sure you know your state laws or set your own rules.
- Slow it down. Teen crashes are more likely to involve speeding, especially with male drivers. Make sure you know that driving above the speed limit can lead to a ticket, insurance rate increases or even deadly crashes.
- Don’t drink and drive. Teens have a greater risk of death in accidents involving alcohol even though they are below the legal drinking age. They may be less likely than adults to drive drunk, but their crash risk is much higher due to their inexperience with both drinking and driving.
- Be careful at night. In 2009, 17 percent of teenagers’ fatalities occurred between 9 p.m. and midnight, and 26 percent occurred between midnight and 6:00 a.m. Reducing night driving is one way to address this crash risk.
- Turn it down. It’s okay to enjoy the music in your car, but it’s important to be able to hear the road noises around you. Also, do not drive with ear buds or headphones.
- Consider the circumstances. If the weather is bad or you are tired or upset, don’t drive. Taking unnecessary risks just increases your chance of getting into an accident.
- Wear comfortable, functional clothing. With the summer here, plenty of teens are walking around in flip flops, which aren’t safe behind the wheel. A flip flop can easily get caught in the brake or accelerator pedal, and the same goes for high heels or big boots. Wear an appropriate pair of shoes behind the wheel and save the fashion statement for later.
- Maintain your car. See to it that the tires have plenty of tread left and that pressures are properly set. Make sure all lights work, the brakes are in good condition, and the air bags are functioning correctly.
Again, we wish you the best this summer. Celebrate the break by enjoying time with friends and family, just be sure to be responsible in the meantime. We love your business, but we prefer it to be maintenance instead of accident repair! And we know you feel the same way.