Summer expected to be more deadly for teen drivers because of COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Students Against Destructive Decisions said this summer is expected to be more deadly than usual for teen drivers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SADD said fatal crashes involving teen drivers spike between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, SADD’s Rick Birt said crashes involving teen drivers are expected to increase even more this summer.

Birt said there are several factors that make summer a deadly time for teen drivers; teens are under less supervision and teen drivers are driving more frequently to their summer activities, summer jobs or friends’ houses.

SADD worries the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to more deadly crashes involving teen drivers. Because of the pandemic, Birt said teens have spent more time at home and less time on the road, which means they have had fewer opportunities to practice.

Birt offered advice for parents preparing for their teens to get behind the wheel.

“Get out there and practice. There is no better time for parents and teens to hop in the car. Let the teen get behind the wheel. Practice driving in different situations, practice merging, practice those left-hand turns. All those things we think of as risky or less known arts of driving,” said Birt.

SADD said parents are the biggest influence on their teen drivers. Birt said it’s essential for parents to set a good example for their teen by eliminating distractions and obeying traffic laws.

SADD offers a “Passport to Safe Driving Toolkit” to help teens and parents learn proper driver safety.

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