WESTFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Memorial Day to Labor Day is known as the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers and anyone sharing the road with them.
On Tuesday, CBS2’s Meg Baker went out for a driving lesson and learned some safety reminders for teens and parents.READ MORE: NYC Mayoral Candidates Make Last-Minute Push For Votes Ahead Of Tuesday's Primary
Mike Pielech, CEO of Road Rules Driving School, coached Gianna Grosso on why it’s important to be extra cautious as a new driver.
“I know not to use my phone or look away because I’m terrified of anything bad happening,” Grosso said, after Pielech told her to check her mirrors.
AAA data shows nationally an average of seven teen driving fatalities per day during the summer when they are out of school, compared to six per day the rest of the year. Robert Sinclair of AAA said teens had alarming responses to a survey about driving behaviors.
“They are speeding in residential areas. They’re speeding on the highway. They’re driving aggressively. They’re running red lights. They’re not wearing their seatbelts. They’re driving drowsy,” Sinclair said.
It’s even riskier because they are inexperienced. AAA recommends parents spend 100 hours behind the wheel with their child.
“You need to be in different weather conditions, different lighting conditions, take different routes to and from where you might be going, and coach them and do it gently,” Sinclair said.READ MORE: More Violence On Subways: Police Say Tourist Hit With Bottle, Man Slashed In Separate Attacks
Experts stress that parents should act as models and set the example of what a smart driver looks like.
“Parents are the biggest role models. If parents are going to text at lights, or text or talk on phones, or fidget around, teens will do it, too,” Pielech said.
Always wear your seat belt, obey traffic laws, watch your speed, don’t tailgate, and use your turn signals. A major distraction is friends in the car — the risk for a crash goes up exponentially, experts say.
“Goofing around, going down the Shore, especially in the summertime, the more they pack in they are not going to be paying attention to what’s relevant on the road,” Pielech said.
AAA offers a parent-teen driving agreement with rules for checking in once they reach their destination, obeying traffic laws, and not taking unnecessary risks like driving tired, angry or upset, which could lead to danger.
Sinclair also suggests not getting your child a high-performance vehicle, adding they need to have the skills to drive a regular car before jumping into something with a million features.MORE NEWS: NYPD: Off-Duty Officer Attacked With Baseball Bat In Bronx; As Many As 6 Suspects Sought
CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this report