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Keeping Teen Drivers Safe All Summer Long

Summer is when many people do most of their driving. Whether it is a family vacation across the country or simply a weekend road trip, highways are filled with people off to their next destination. Unfortunately, more vehicles on the road will increase the potential for accidents, especially for teen drivers.

According to AAA crash statistics, the summer months are the most dangerous time of the year for young drivers. With school out of session and endless weeks of long warm days, many more teens are out on the road at later hours than in winter, spring or fall.

Seven of the ten deadliest individual days of the year come after Memorial Day and before Labor Day. Teen driver and passenger death rates due to car accidents in the summer months increase by almost 20 percent.

Accidents aren't the only risk. During those long evenings, juvenile arrests for underage drinking, drug possession, purchasing alcohol and DUI can bring summer fun to an immediate halt. Parents can make a big difference in the lives of their children by reminding them that safe and smart behavior is critical every month of the year, not just when school provides more structure to their lives.

One good piece of advice is limiting the number of passengers a teen driver is allowed to carry. Pennsylvania is one of the last of a dwindling number of states that have not passed teen passenger limits or night driving curfews, but younger drivers and passengers should be encouraged to use good sense and obey limits that meet their abilities.

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