While summer usually means vacations and trips to the beach, it’s also a dangerous time for teenagers to hit the road. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety calls these months the 100 Deadliest Days because teens are more likely to be involved in a deadly crash. Learn why these days are so dangerous and what you can do to help your teen driver stay safe.
Why Summer is Dangerous
While car crashes are already the leading cause of death for teenagers, the summer months are even worse. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day sees the average number of fatal teen driver crashes climb 15 percent when compared to the rest of the year. Teens’ inexperience in dealing with a variety of driving situations, combined with more time spent on the road during the summer, is the main factor behind this increase.
Teen Drivers Are More Distracted
While inexperience plays a big role in the increase in teen driver crashes, it’s not the only reason. Distraction is blamed for nearly six out of 10 teen crashes. Teens already have a difficult time putting their cell phones down when they’re driving, and summer driving is no exception. Plus, you also have to add the distractions that come from having additional friends in the car.
Speeding and Time of Day Play a Role
In almost 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers, speeding is a factor. Driving instructors say speeding is one of the biggest mistakes teens make when they’re learning how to drive. Plus, the clear and warm weather conditions of summer often tempt teens to speed even more.
Another factor that leads to more teen crashes is the time of day teen drivers are on the road. While teens are usually home at night during the school year, summer makes it more likely for teens to be out late at night when the risk of a crash increases.
What Parents Can Do to Help
Fortunately, you can help keep your teens safe during the summer. One of the most important things you can do is teach by example. That means controlling your speed, putting down your cell phone, and minimizing risky driving behavior. You should also set clear rules for how many people are allowed in the car, how late teens can stay out, and how far they’re allowed to drive.
When it comes to eliminating cellphone distraction, you also play a key role. Fifty percent of parents admit to texting or calling their teen when they know he or she is on the road. To encourage no cellphone use in the car, preprogram navigation or music apps before heading out and make your teen put the cellphone where it can’t be reached. You should also encourage teens to call for a ride if they’re out late and feeling drowsy.
You can use these tips to help your teen driver stay safe during the 100 Deadliest Days. However, if you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, contact David W. Singer & Associates, P.A. to get help with your case.