With all the holiday parties this month serving alcohol, legalization of pot and more people on prescription drugs, how can I possibly feel safe on the roads?

Gary Jaffarian shares information in conjunction with these national initiatives: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving and National Drugged and Drunk Driving Prevention Week, and National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

National-Drunk-and-Drugged-Driver-Awareness-Month.pngI completely understand how you feel. One thing is certain – you can only control your vehicle and not others. That is why it is so important for you to be sure you have your seat belt buckled and that you drive defensively— watching out for the other vehicles on the road. It is important that you stay focused on driving and not be distracted by calls and texts. The holidays are known for joy of the season, parties and fun, but it is also the deadliest season when it comes to drunk driving. Every holiday season, lives are lost due to drunk drivers. We also need to be concerned about people who are high on drugs or taking prescription drugs that may impair their judgment when driving.
Although I write about this topic on a regular basis—it needs to be addressed again and again—because it is a matter of life and death. We need to keep this topic alive to keep more drivers alive. Drunk driving is a deadly epidemic that takes the lives of more than 10,000 people each year, on average. Remember to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and if you’re feeling a little “buzzed” you are drunk and should not be driving.snowmen-buzzeddriving
You always have choices: don’t drink (or perhaps just one); get a ride with a friend who is the designated driver; stay overnight; or take public transportation, call a taxi or Uber driver.
Of the 328 motor vehicle-related fatalities in Massachusetts in 2014, 38% involved alcohol-impaired driving where the BAC (blood alcohol content) of a driver was .08 or higher. As far as I am concerned, this means 125 people would still be alive if not for driving while intoxicated. That means they are preventable deaths.
In a recent roadside survey, 22% of all drivers tested positive for some drug or medication. If you take a medication that may impair your ability to drive, please check with your physician or pharmacist if there is another option that won’t affect your ability to drive. If you need to take that specific medication, try to get a ride or arrange a carpool. Always check the side effects when taking a new medication and never drink alcohol while on medications that may be affected by alcohol consumption. According to StopDruggedDriving.org, 20% of crashes in the country are caused by drivers under the influence of drugs. Drugged drivers cause approximately 440,000 injuries, 6,761 deaths, and $59.9 billion in damages per year.
There are many factors that impair one’s ability to drive—and the biggest issue to prevent accidents is not to read or send texts while driving. There are currently effective highway billboards reminding all of us  that “Better left unread then dead.” As we incur more stress, more parties and busier schedules going into the holiday season, please drive carefully and refrain from drinking, texting or using recreational drugs—whether legal or not.
Enjoy the beginning of this holiday season! Remember to drop by Jaffarian Volvo Toyota’s showroom at 600 River Street in Haverhill with your donations for Emmaus House, an emmaus-house-and-tagorganization that provides services and housing for needy families in our area. New, unwrapped items are welcome including mittens and winter coats, pajamas, sox and  toys. We want to fill the back of a Toyota Tundra truck with your donations and ours. With your help, we continue to give back to our local community to make the holiday season brighter for others in need.
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Gary Jaffarian

What do you think Thanksgiving should be about other than eating turkey?

thanksgiving-family-dinnerGary Jaffarian goes beyond the fanfare of Thanksgiving dinner, football and Black Friday shopping sprees to discuss what matters most this Thanksgiving for our community and the country.

Three things immediately come to mind as I think about Thanksgiving:

FIRST and foremost—Safety. Jaffarian Volvo Toyota is in the automotive business and an important part of our role is to promote safety on the roads. AAA projects that 48.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers compared with last year and the most vehicles on the road since 2007. This year’s increase in Thanksgiving travel is spurred by improvements in the economy and relatively low prices at the pumps.

The most important part of the travel experience is getting to your destination safely to see family and friends. We’re motivated by traveling to home towns and long distances to see loved ones—and to spend time with friends and family, wherever they may be. As a four-generation dealership, I know how important family is and what they represent.thanksfamily-dinner

I hope everyone will respect the rules of the road. I’d like to live through one Thanksgiving where there is not a single death on the road. One is one too many. That means no texting or reading texts and no driving under the influence. This is the start of the holiday season and let’s make it the safest one ever! Practice kindness and patience, even on the road, even if you are cut-off—let it go. Keep in mind the only important part of the trip—arriving safely and returning safely.

SECOND—Be a contributor to your community. In the spirit of the season, there are countless ways to give back during the holiday season. Consider donating items to food pantries or donate holiday gifts, money or your time to make a difference in your community. Jaffarian will once again donate and collect a truck full of items for the homeless children at Emmaus House in Haverhill. They serve 3,000 clients a year thatemmaus-house-and-tag represent a large part of the 3500 homeless families in Massachusetts, most with children. Over the years, they have helped 25,000 people out of homelessness. Please stop by our showroom just off Exit 49 in Haverhill at 600 River St. in Haverhill to drop off items needed this year including winter coats, pajamas…. We will collect items starting this Friday and through December 15th! Every small contribution adds up to making a major difference in our community. Know that you will be behind the face of a smiling child on Christmas Day.

THIRD—Be kind to one other. We’ve been through a tumultuous time with a stressful presidential election. There are still rifts between friends and family which is unprecedented in this country after an election. There are children picking on children of other races and nationalities. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to further the healing that is needed by embracing our differences. Let us be thankful this Thanksgiving for the lives we have, our friends and families and for living in the U.S.–the greatest “melting pot” of them all that embraced our ancestors where they arrived at Ellis Island from many different nations. Be thankful for our freedom and for our country.


If you are traveling this week, be sure your vehicle is in top-notch shape to get you there traffic-on-rt-128safely. If there is anything you need from the Jaffarian Service Department, we are here for you. You can schedule on line 24/7 or call us at (888) 718-4749.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels.


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Gary Jaffarian

How and when should I prepare my vehicle for winter?

With a cold winter on the horizon, Gary Jaffarian gives you his Top 10 list of what is most important to prepare your vehicle for winter and to avoid break-downs at the coldest time of the year.

cleaning-off-snowAccording to the Farmers’ Almanac and weather analysts, we are in for a very cold winter. While last winter was mild with little snow, this winter will most likely have greater snowfall, but nothing close to the winter of 2015 with record-breaking snowfall. It’s been a mild autumn, but now is the time to get your vehicle ready for winter and to adapt to the cold mornings and nights.

1. Tires—Inflate at a different level for winter according to your tire-pressure-monitoring-symbolmanufacturer’s guidelines. When you see the dashboard symbol that looks like an explanation mark in parentheses, it means your tires are not inflated at the proper level. It’s also a good time to check the treads. Your tires are even more important in the winter.

2. Check your anti-freeze. Coolant systems that are not in the right proportion will lead to overheating due to freezing. Have the car’s coolant system flushed before the first freeze. You also need to check the system for leaks and install fresh coolant.

3. Check the heater. Confirm that your heater system works correctly and the core doesn’t leak, the blower works and the window defroster is operating.

4. Inspect the windshield wipers. Replace them if they are worn or have become winter-wiper-bladeshardened. You may want to invest in the heavy-duty blades that are for winter weather. Change the windshield wiper fluid with one that has antifreeze added to it.

5. Examine the car’s electrical system. Have a professional check the battery and charging system. The cold weather puts unusual demands on these systems.

6. Check your fluids. This would be done at each oil change and is done every season, but especially important in the winter. An older vehicle in an area that has temperatures that fall below freezing often uses 30-weight single viscosity oil. You need to go to a lower viscosity oil, like a 10-weight, when the temperature falls below zero and stays there. If you bring your vehicle to Department we will recommend the proper oil for your older model vehicle for winter. This also applies to your automatic transmission fluid. Higher weight oils and transmission fluids do not lubricate sufficiently in colder weather. (Newer vehicles use multi-viscosity oil such as 10 and 30 weights. This eliminates the need to change oil type.)

7. Check your brakes. Your tires and brakes are your most important safety features.

8. Don’t let your vehicle hit empty before you fill up. It is important in freezing temperatures to have gas in your tank at all times. It is also a good idea in general.

9. Carry emergency supplies. Now is the time to make sure you have an emergency kit in each vehicle. Include a flashlight, blanket, sand or salt and a snow/ice scraper, and drinking water.

10. Check the exhaust system. Fumes from a leaky exhaust system can quickly become fatal. Remember, never warm your vehicle up in the garage unless the door is completely open. If you have a garage, clean it out so you have room for your vehicle. It may eliminate the need to warm it up and helps protect the finish.

At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota, we have certified technicians who know how to prepare your vehicle for winter. We will be sure to take care of all of the above services. We even have a video system to show you what the technician sees while he works on your vehicle for maximum transparency. Our service advisors and technicians will carefully explain their findings to you—services recommended to be completed now and services that are needed but can wait.

For your convenience, you can book on line 24/7 or call us for Toyota Service at 888-355-1041; or for Volvo Servicetoyota-truck-in-snow call 888-234-2851. You can wait in our comfortable waiting rooms while watching TV, using our WI-FI and sipping on a free Starbuck’s coffee; or we will get you where you need to be with our complimentary van service. The entire service experience focuses on you!

Let’s hope for a warm, mild winter! But if it isn’t, we know you’ll be safe in a vehicle properly serviced for the season.

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Gary Jaffarian

How can we honor our Active Military and Veterans this Veteran’s Day?

Gary Jaffarian shares ongoing signs of appreciation and local events to express your gratitude this Veterans Day and throughout the year.


Haverhill’s 2015 Veterans Day Parade

Veterans Day is this Friday, November 11th. A special day to honor all  veterans—alive or dead—as well as active military. The day marks the anniversary of the November 11, 1918 signing of the Armistice, the agreement to end the fighting during World War I, once called the “war to end all wars” and was originally called Armistice Day.

This is a day of ceremonies, parades, discounts, free meals, and special events to honor our nearly 20 million U.S. veterans with 380,000 in Massachusetts. It is a special day to say “thank you” to the veterans you know or see that day and a special day to visit the cemetery to place wreaths or flowers and flags on the graves of veterans. While it is well-deserved to have a day to recognize our veterans and active military, wouldn’t it be great if we could extend that one day of thanks throughout the year including random acts of kindness and ongoing recognition of their service to our country?  Simple acts of recognition and gratitude can go a long way including remembering our senior citizen veterans as well as those who have recently come home battling physical and emotional scars from their service.

Ways to Honor Our Veteran’s on Veteran’s Day:  Parades will be held in Haverhill, Boston and Lexington and special events in many cities and towns.parade
• Bring a veteran to one of the restaurants offering free meals or specials. Check out the list on http://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts or http://militarybenefits.info/veterans-day-discounts-sales-deals-free-meals.
• If you can get into Boston, there is a parade and many special events for veterans. For more information, go to http://www.boston-discovery-guide.com/veterans-day.html.
• Andover Veterans Day Ceremonies, 10 a.m. at West Parish Cemetery, 129 Reservation Road, Andover; 11 a.m. at Spring Grove Cemetery, 124 Abbot St., Andover; noon at Ballardvale Green, at the intersection of Andover and Center Streets, presented by Andover Veterans’ Services, a division of the Department of Community Services. A light lunch will be held at 1 p.m. at the Masonic Temple, 7 High Street. The program will be held rain or shine. In case of moderate to heavy rain, a brief ceremony will be held at Elm Green at noon and inside the Masonic Temple. For more information, call 978-623-8218.
• Haverhill’s annual Veterans Day Parade, 10 a.m. on Kenoza Avenue, in front of the VFW Post 29. The parade will start at 10:30 a.m. and will proceed to Monument Square, down Main Street to the Global Peace Monument on Ginty Boulevard, where services will be held. At the conclusion of the services, the colors will be retired. A buffet luncheon will be held at the American Legion Farm, 1314 Main St., following the parade.
• Veterans Day Observance, 11 a.m. to noon in the Hampstead Middle School cafeteria, 28 School St. The program will consist of patriotic songs and music, the Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard, special presentations and awards, and conclude with a wreath laying ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Park (in front of Town Offices). For more information, call 603-329-4288.

Ideas to extend the gratitude beyond one day:veterans-day
• Seek out the veterans you know, especially seniors, to honor them with a card, flag or plant.
• Thank you. Whenever you are out and see active military or people who have served, thank them for their service.
• Listen to their stories. If they don’t want to discuss the war, listen to their history, what motivated them to serve, or how they met their spouse. Seniors love to tell stories and have someone value them just by listening with interest. If they want to discuss the war, show medals or photos, that is an added bonus!
• Bring a veteran to a local ceremony or event that honors veterans.
• Offer a ride to a veteran to a medical appointment, the drug store, the cemetery or market.
• Surprise a veteran neighbor with a random act of kindness. Buy their cup of coffee or rake their leaves..
•  “Greenlight A Vet” by changing your outside light to green to honor America’s veterans-some of our nation’s bravest, hardest-working men and women. However, it’s hard to show them the appreciation they deserve when, back home and out of uniform, they’re more camouflaged than ever. Greenlight A Vet is a campaign to establish visible national support for our veterans by changing one light to green.
• There are many charities and opportunities throughout the year to help with financial assistance or participate in local activities that benefit our veterans. There are too many to list, but be on the lookout for road races, walks, and many organizations seeking to help our veterans.

At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota, we are proud to represent  Toyota, the largest vehicle manufacturer in the U.S. Toyota honors our veterans as they say:

“For everything you give, we want to give something back. Inspired by your courage and commitment, we are offering a $750 rebate to eligible U.S. military personnel. This rebate can be used toward any new Toyota vehicle purchased through your dealer and Toyota Financial Services. Because the sacrifices don’t stop at the front lines we are also extending our Military Rebate offer to household members of eligible U.S. military personnel, including Gold Star families.”

Jaffarian Toyota is participating in this program so if you are in the market for a vehicle, we would be honored to  help you find the right Toyota  for you.

The Toyota Military Rebate offer is available to:
• U.S. military personnel
• Household members of eligible U.S. military personnel (including Gold Star families)
• U.S. military retirees (within 1 year of retirement)
• U.S. military veterans (within 1 year of discharge).

vets-thank-youOn behalf of all of us at  Jaffarian Volvo Toyota, we salute our veterans and our active military and are so grateful for the sacrifices made to protect our freedom. May we all seek ways to honor them on Friday but find ways to honor and thank them throughout the year.

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Gary Jaffarian

Will we see autonomous vehicles in Boston soon—or way off in the future?

Gary Jaffarian reviews what initiatives are planned for Boston to test these vehicles and how Beacon Hill is gearing up for new legislation to support driverless vehicles.

autopilotautonomousdrivingvolvo3exf2Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the city plans to team up with researchers at the World Economic Forum who chose Boston to explore the best way to make the emerging technology of autonomous—or driverless vehicles– work in the city, according to Metro, a Boston area travel newspaper.

As part of a one-year pilot program, this collaboration will draft policy recommendations and determine the safest way to conduct on-the-road testing of self-driving vehicles. Mayor Walsh said that he views this project as an important part of his administration’s Go Boston 2030 project, a master plan for the city’s transportation future that aims to improve access to and the safety of the city’s transit system.

The project’s monumental goal is to eliminate all fatal and serious car crashes in the city by 2030. An average of two pedestrians are hit by a motorist in Boston every day, per city statistics. While some of us are apprehensive at the thought of driverless vehicles, many reports indicate they would help making driving safer by using computerized “brains” and robotics to make decisions, instead of human brains—which may be affected by distractions, alcohol, prescription or other drugs, etc.

“Boston’s collaboration with the World Economic Forum represents our commitment to creating a safe, reliable and equitable mobility plan for Boston’s residents,” Walsh said in a statement. “We are focused on the future of our city and how we safely move people around while providing them with reliable mobility choices.”

The thrust of the partnership is to brainstorm how the technology of driverless cars might be introduced to Boston, but there’s no timetable for when such vehicles would be tested on city streets.

About 37,000 people die from collisions each year in the U.S., with about 94% of all accidents, fatal or not, attributed to driver error, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With this technology, experts who have been studying these driverless vehicles believe they have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives each year. Experts in the industry liken this to when we first heard about the Internet, no one could believe—or even imagine— its potential. There is a mining company in Australia, Rio Tinto, that already employs 45 240-ton driverless trucks to move iron ore in two of its mines, saying it is cheaper and safer than using human drivers.

The last piece of the study is to look at shared services, similar to Uber, whereby we can reduce the carbon footprint with reduced emissions by sharing more energy-efficient vehicles.

Beacon Hill Prepares for Driverless Vehicles
Governor Charlie Baker recently signed an executive order creating a task force on automated vehicles. The “AV Working Group” would encourage development of driverless vehicles in Massachusetts and work with companies to support this innovation. This task force would also begin proposing changes in state laws or regulations ensuring public safety. The Task Force will be made up of the Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Public Safety, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, the Registrar of DMV and other officials, in addition to four members appointed by the House and Senate leadership. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash notes that these new vehicles will include robotics, advanced materials, internet-enabled sensors and artificial intelligence. There are plans for the Massachusetts study to begin in late 2016 or early 2017, according to The Boston Globe.

drive-meautopilotselfdrivingcarsexf2Volvo is making sure self-driving vehicles will fit seamlessly into people’s lives – and into society – with the Drive Me project, Volvo’s large-scale trial of the technology which will result in the IntelliSafe Autopilot technology. Carried out by real customers on real roads, it is likely to be the first of its kind in the world with testing already in progress in Europe.

Toyota is developing autonomous safety technologies to create a virtual “co-pilot” in vehicles that helps drivers avoid accidents rather than self-driving cars and trucks.

Jaffarian Volvo Toyota is proud to carry the two manufacturers’ vehicles that are ahead-of-its-time in both technology and safety. We will keep you posted on the Boston studies and the future of autonomous vehicles, especially those being piloted by Volvo.

My grandparents would be amazed at how advanced technology is affecting the automobile industry!

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Gary Jaffarian

How do I protect my children on Halloween?

This week, Gary Jaffarian shares safety tips for parents and lists local Halloween events.
halloweenindarkThe best way to protect your children as they trick or treat in the dark is to avoid  busy, main streets; carry flashlights and have an adult accompany young children. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of recent clown-related stories covered in the news and Halloween may spur pranks or more serious risks. As always, make sure costumes are safe including not too long to cause tripping, and eye holes big enough for your trick or treater to see. Remember that dark costumes make it difficult for drivers to spot your children.
Whenever possible, walk on sidewalks, not on the street and remind your children to not run across streets without looking both ways. Halloween night is a difficult night for drivers. Commuters are trying to get home to be ready to hand out candy or bring their children out. With most communities having defined hours for trick or treating, it can be a big stressful due to traffic and trying to spot children out walking on the roads. When driving on Halloween, please drive safely and slow down when you reach neighborhoods. At every turn, be on alert, as there may be children out on the street where you don’t expect them.
Our Ask Gary followers live in many different towns—too many to name—so check your local paper, Patch.com or other internet sights to find out what is going on in your town. Many cities and towns are offering trick or treat nights at malls, shopping centers and other locations as an alternative to being on the roads.
Salem, Mass. is busy all month, but older children and many adults flock to this city to experience Halloween. If you are headed to Salem, be sure to plan ahead as traffic is very heavy, restaurants are very busy and the amount of pedestrians is incredible!  If you have older children who drive or are of age to legally drink, be sure to remind them to have a designated driver or use public transportation or Uber.
If you have older children who will be out this weekend and out on Halloween night, be certain to monitor where they are going and remind them of the crowds, road safety and making good decisions including not getting into vehicles where the driver has been drinking or with drivers who speed. Assure them it is safe to call you at any hour if they feel they are not safe.
If you are looking for fun, local activities weekend, here’s some local ideas:
Meet the Horror Authors—meet many local New England horror authors. They will share their stories and sign their books! Saturday, October 29 from 6-8 p.m. This event is free at the Buttonwoods Museum, 240 Water Street, Haverhill.
  •  Boo Bash—The Mall at Rockingham Park is inviting all little ghouls, goblins and boo’tiful princesses to come have a spooktacular time at the Kidgits Halloween event. Put on your spookiest costume and come party with us for Halloween. Sylvan Learning will be at the event to introduce you to a scary good time with Lego Robotics.  Activities include Pumpkin decorating, fun seasonal photo opps, Halloween crafts, a Special Trick-or-Treating giveaway, Halloween treats and more! Saturday, October 29 from 1-3 p.m. at Lord and Taylor Court on Level 2.
  • Downtown Newburyport Trick or Treat at all downtown stores including The Tannery on Water Street on Friday, Oct. 28 from 4-5 p.m. Children come in costume and they get treats!
  • Tricks and Treats at Merrimack Valley Pavilion, 2087 Main St, Tewksbury on Sunday, October 30, from 4 p.m.–6 p.m. for free candy, games & prizes! Open to all kids ages 12 & under.
  • Witch’s Woods – Through October 31st. Thurs. –Sun. at the Nashoba Valley Ski Area, Westford, Greater Merrimack Valley’s original Halloween Screampark. Climb aboard Witch’s Woods most popular attraction, the Haunted Hayride, and visit the Keeper’s Crypt, Castle Morbid and Nightmare Mansion.
  • Groton’s Annual Halloween Costume Parade—October 28, 2:40 p.m. Meet at Prescott School wearing costumes! Parade starts at 3 p.m., runs down Main Street to the Town Field where children can enjoy dancing, games with prizes, face painting, giveaways, snacks, and more. There will also be a very special guest to greet the children for ages 2-10. Cost: Donation of at least one dollar per child at the field.
In local cities and towns in the Jaffarian Volvo Toyota area, Halloween will be celebrated as follows (all on Monday, October 31 except in Haverhill as noted):
Haverhill—Celebrated on the last Saturday in October from 5-7 p.m. (on Oct. 29 this year)
Andover— 5-7 p.m.
Georgetown—5-7 p.m.
Lawrence— 4-7 p.m.trickortreatnight
Methuen—5-7 p.m.
North Andover—5:30-7:30 p.m.
Rowley—5-7 p.m.
Tewksbury—6-8 p.m.
West Newbury—5:30 p.m-7:30
Please drive carefully and walk through the streets carefully. Check your flashlights now for batteries to have them ready to go! Watch your children and wear you walk!
All of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota wish you a happy and safe Halloween!
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Gary Jaffarian

What can I do to ensure my teen drives safely?

teens-in-carThat is a great question that I am sure crosses every parent’s mind once their teen becomes a licensed driver. I am addressing this question in honor of National Teen Driver Safety Week, sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15-to 19-year-olds in the United States. In fact, in 2014 there were 2,679 teen passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes and an estimated 123,000 teens were injured. Parents need to take the time to talk with their teens about the many dangers of driving, according to the NHTSA. Those dangers include alcohol, lack of seat belt use, distracted driving, speeding, and extra passengers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s NHTSA developed a campaign to help parents discuss five common sense, yet critical driving practices with their teenage drivers that can have the greatest beneficial impact to prevent a crash. The “5 to Drive” campaign gives parents and teens a simple, straightforward list that can help them talk about good driving skills and most importantly, prevent a tragedy before it happens.

The “5 to Drive” campaign encourages parents to discuss with their teens one safety topic each day during national teen driver safety week—or all at once. Try posting it on the refrigerator, leave a love note in the vehicle or include a reminder in their lunch. Most importantly, emphasize how much you love them and don’t want to lose them.

The “5 to Drive” campaign topics are:teen-texting
1. No cell phone use or texting while driving. It’s against the law, however, in a survey by dosomething.org, 56% of teens said they talk on the phone while driving.

2. No extra passengers. The more passengers in the vehicle, the higher the risk of an accident. Try to limit one friend in the vehicle at a time. Peer pressure is a major contributing factor in teen crash deaths. Moreover, one NHTSA study found that a teenage driver was 2.5 times more likely to engage in risky behaviors when driving with one teenage passenger and three times more likely with multiple teenager passengers.

3. No speeding. Perhaps you want them to know that if your teen speeds and gets a ticket—there will be consequences. Insurance rates will go up and as a parent consider consequences affecting them such as paying for the increased insurance and losing driving privileges.

4. No alcohol. Also illegal for teens and they run the risk of losing their license with a DUI on their record, should they be stopped.

5. No driving or riding as a passenger without a seat belt. When the teen driver in a fatal crash was unrestrained, almost four-fifths of that driver’s teen passengers were unrestrained as well.

Lack of experience, judgment and maturity, as well as peer pressure contribute to poor choices among teen drivers. Teens also suffer from “It won’t happen to me” syndrome or delusions of “I’m a great driver!” It is only for those reasons that you need to discuss these teen driver statistics with your son or daughter:
• More than half of the teen occupants of passenger vehicles who died in crashes were not wearing seat belts.
• Speeding was a factor in 35 percent of fatal crashes involving a teen driver.
• At least 12 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the crash.
• Despite the fact that all states have Zero Tolerance Laws for drinking and driving under age 21, 505 people nationwide died in crashes in which drivers 18 and under had alcohol in their systems.
• Only 44% of teens said they would definitely speak up if someone were driving in a way that scared them. Make it comfortable for your teen to know if they don’t feel safe in a friend’s vehicle, it is okay to call you for a ride, no matter what time of night.

Another tip and manner in which you can be a role model, is to allow enough time to get to your destination. If you’re running late, do you speed? Instill in your teen that it is more important to arrive a little late than never arrive because of a crash, but more importantly, allow enough time to get to school or other destination on time.

Lastly, there are devices you can purchase and apps you can download to monitor your teen’s location and driving. That is certainly an option and an investment worth making. Check out all of the tips and devices on the web. You’ll be glad you did. After all, nothing is more important than the safe return of your teen every time they leave the house.

All of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota wish you well as you are charged with the most difficult job in the world—being a parent, particularly to a teen. I am the parent of both a son and daughter and I understand the challenges, too!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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