The cold has arrived, and with snow blanketing many parts of the country it's a reminder that the winter festival season is upon us.
For parents with teenagers heading to one of the many winter festivals scheduled for the next few months, it's time to start thinking about how you can help your teen drivers prepare for a safe journey to and from their festival destination. Remember, it is not just advice for when they arrive at the event that is useful – but guidance for the drive there and back is vital too.
For some teens, this will be their first experience of driving long distances in potentially wet and icy conditions – a stressful experience for both the driver and the parent waiting at home.
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has created a dedicated website to help parents with teen drivers - www.safeteendriver.co.nz(external link) - which offers a set of practical skills and free tools to encourage parents to work alongside their teens to help identify and manage risk situations, when driving by themselves.
“The Safe Teen Driver website not only provides useful festival hazard advice to discuss with your teen, it also suggests some different ways to talk about the risks so they don’t think you're over-reacting,” says NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield.
NZTA Access and Use Regional Manager Kate Styles suggests the following tips for driving to the Nelson Winter Music Festival (6 – 22 July 2012):
Other key areas the NZTA encourages parents to discuss with their teen drivers includes:
Please visit www.safeteendriver.co.nz/festivalmap/(external link) for more tips.