The 100 deadliest days are upon us. The 100 deadliest days refer to the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day when rates of car accidents for teen drivers go up. Over the past five years, nearly 3,500 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during those three months. Two-thirds of the people injured or killed in accidents involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel.
These accidents increase during summer months because teens are out of school and are out on the road more. An average of about 700 people a year die in accidents involving a teen driver.
Contributing to these high rates of accidents are reckless behaviors that teens tend toward at higher rates. Reckless behaviors such as drinking and driving, speeding, and driving while distracted (texting) all contribute to the higher rates of accidents for teens drivers in the summer.
What Causes Teens to Get into Accidents?
Speeding. Speeding increases the severity of the crash as well as the frequency. 30% of teen drivers admit to speeding on residential streets and almost 40 percent admit to speeding on highways in the past thirty days.
Drinking and driving. Drinking is illegal for teens in all 50 states. Unfortunately, that is not enough to deter teens from drinking and driving. One in sixteen drivers involved in fatal accidents tested positive for alcohol.
Driving while distracted. In the age of smartphones and social media, the contributing factor of distracted driving is on the rise. More than half of teen drivers reported to reading a text or email while driving. 40 percent of teen drivers even reported sending a text or an email.
After an accident, it is difficult for law enforcement to determine if a teen was texting while driving. If law enforcement decides to investigate the circumstances that led to an accident, they have legal means to obtain phone records and determine if a driver was on the phone or texting. Witnesses might also report seeing the driver using their phone.
If law enforcement decides to investigate the circumstances that led to an accident, they have legal means to obtain phone records and determine if a driver was on the phone or texting. Witnesses might also report seeing the driver using their phone.
What Can a Worried Parent Do?
Parents must talk to teens about all the factors mentioned above that lead to accidents. Even if you think your teen doesn’t drink there is always a first time. Parents can set a good example. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t pick up your phone while driving. Drive at the speed limit. Be a model for safe, responsible driving.
Make sure your teen gets lots of hours driving with you in the car so that they get more comfortable and you can see where their weaknesses may be. You can gradually ease up on the supervision as you see your teen gaining more confidence and skill behind the wheel.
Summer should be fun and enjoyable for teens. The freedom that comes with gaining the right to drive also comes with serious responsibilities. As a parent, you can be a model of good driving behavior and have tough discussions with your teen driver that need to be had no matter how uncomfortable.
Talk to your teen about the consequences if they are caught drinking and driving or driving while texting. You can even write up a contract that you both discuss and sign. Make this a safe and fun summer for everyone. If you have been injured, then check out our guide on how to find a good personal injury lawyer.