Teen Driving: Homecoming Safety Tips

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Defensive Driving Online

As school gears back up, student activities are on the rise, and there are increased numbers of teen drivers behind the wheel. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America, so both teens and other drivers need be especially cautious on the roadways. Homecoming is one of those special fall events that will have inexperienced teen drivers out on the roads en masse, so we have some tips that will help increase safety for your young drivers during this high risk driving times.

Ride in Style:Consider getting a limo or town car to transport your teen and his friends to the homecoming dance. This will take the pressure off the driver and allow everyone in the group (parents included) to have a worry free night. Because this can be expensive, ask other parents to split the cost and make it more reasonable. 

Limit Passengers: If a teenage driver is behind the wheel, you should limit the other passengers to one. According to the Center for Disease Control, the presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers, and the risk goes up with more passengers in the vehicle.

Plan a Route: Ensure your teen is comfortable with the route to all homecoming events. You can practice driving a day or so ahead so they feel comfortable with the navigation, especially if it located somewhere they have never been before. Driving Skills for Life recommends this high level of preparedness because passengers in the vehicle and excitement about the event can make it more difficult to focus on trying to follow a map or read road signs.  

Slow Down:  Encourage your teen driver to reduce their speeds while driving after dark as visibility can be greatly reduced during these times, and most events will be taking place in the evening and night hours.

Avoid Distractions: Setting a limit for passengers will help eliminate distractions during homecoming travel, but you need to set further guidelines for your teen driver to help create a safe driving environment. Encourage them to keep music at a reasonable volume, and pull over to the side of the road if they need to send a text message or take a call. 

Have a Plan B: Always make sure your student leaves the house with a fully charged cell phone so they can call you in the event that they do not feel comfortable driving themselves home from an event. You should also program a couple of local cab company numbers into their cell phones in the event that you cannot be reached for a pick-up.  

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