Encouraging Safe Driving Habits for the Summer

June 6, 2018

By: Senator John A. Kissel

For many years I have been a staunch advocate for safe driving and work each year to promote initiatives that help teens and young adults make smart decisions when they get behind the wheel. In 2016 I was honored and humbled to receive a Public Policy award for my work to promote safe driving from the Connecticut chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). As Memorial Day has come and gone and we enter into the season of BBQ parties and beach trips I thought it was important to bring attention to how important safe and sober driving is – especially for our teens.

Statistically the stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day shows that roughly 260 teens are killed in car crashes each month during the summer – that is a 26 percent increase when compared to other months in the year. These frightening statistics have led some organizations to call this time of the year the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers in our country.

What does this mean for us as parents, role models and friends – it means that we all should be looking out for one another and give our young ones a few reminders on the importance of safe driving. Sometimes all it takes is reminding teens that too many passengers is dangerous because there aren’t enough seatbelts, the speed limits are in place for a reason or even just reminding them to put away their phones when driving. It’s also important for teens to feel comfortable to just call if they are in a tight position and remind them it is ok to decline a ride from a friend who may be impaired.

This is a time of year for folks to relax in summer fun – but let us all remember we shouldn’t be relaxing while at the wheel.

For more information on how to encourage safe driving this summer, visit www.madd.org/connecticut.