- Fourth of July is a time for fireworks, festivals and fun but, the holiday also marks the most fatal day of the year for teen drivers. The National Safety Council identifies the 100day period between Memorial day and Labor day as the most deadly months for teen drivers. Nearly 1,000 fatalities occurred on the roadways during this time period in 2012, and more than half of those killed were teens. Kentucky has one of the nation's highest rates of teen crashes. The Commonwealth's Graduated Drivers Licensing law is designed to help make sure that a new teen driver comes home safe and alive. Here are some important points the council says parents should keep in mind:
- A new driver with a permit should spend at least 50 hours driving with an adult in a variety of conditions including country roads and major highways.
- Seat belts should be worn at all times
- Night time driving should be limited as the risk of crashes increases after 9 p.m.
- Ban distractions while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 18 percent of fatal crashes were caused by driver distraction in 2010. Prohibit cellphone use (for calling or texting) while a teen is driving.
- No tired or hurried driving. Today, teens are busy with school, sports, jobs and social activities. Discourage driving when teens are rushed or running late. Offer them a ride.
- Set teens up for success. If you give your teen driver an old clunker, be sure the tires, wipers, brakes and headlights are in good condition. It's not realistic to give teens a fast sports car and expect them not to use its speed. Less speedy cars are safer, especially on Kentucky's unforgiving rural roads.