How to Keep Your Teen Drivers Safe During the ‘100 Deadliest Days’ of Summer

Top Three Reasons for Teen-Driving Fatalities in the Summer

Prepping Your Teen for a Major Milestone

  • Young drivers should stay away from high horsepower. More powerful engines can tempt them to test the limits.
  • Bigger, heavier vehicles are safer. They protect better in a crash, and HLDI analyses of insurance data show that teen drivers are less likely to crash them in the first place. There are no minicars or small cars on the recommended list. Small SUVs are included because their weight is similar to that of a midsize car.
  • Electronic stability control (ESC) is a must. This feature, which helps a driver maintain control of the vehicle on curves and slippery roads, reduces risk on a level comparable to safety belts.
  • Vehicles should have the best safety ratings possible. At a minimum, that means good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests and four or five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Your Work Isn’t Over Yet

  1. Teach your teen how to use their five senses to determine if there’s a problem with their vehicle (hearing squealing brakes, feeling unusual vibrations or lurching, smelling gasoline or coolant, seeing a check engine light, etc).
  2. Stress the importance of preventative maintenance, such as regular oil changes and tire inflation, to avoid hefty repair bills further down the road. Most likely, if you show your teen driver the average cost of auto repairs, they will have extra incentive to care for their car properly. We’re pretty sure a summer job won’t cover the cost of a damaged engine, and that cost can be avoided by staying on top of scheduled maintenance.
  3. A recent study found that 60 percent of US drivers actually consider their cars to be a full-fledged part of the family. You don’t have to convince your teenager that their new car is a new member of the family, but you should emphasize the importance of regular TLC and preventative maintenance. Explain and review the recommended service intervals in their owner’s manual. Most likely, they will prefer a digital version, available here.
  4. Show them the basics, such as checking engine oil levels and changing a tire, to empower your teen with the knowledge they need to be responsible and confident drivers.

Openbay Speaks Generation Z’s Language

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