The weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day are some of the most dangerous for car accidents. This period, which AAA refers to as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, sees an increase in fatal crashes involving teen drivers.
There are numerous reasons why this time of year can be so deadly.
Summer fatal crash factors
Between 2010 and 2019 during the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, statistics show that seven people were killed every day in accidents involving a teen driver, compared with an average of six per day during other times of the year.
During the summer, teenagers are on break from school and spending more time with friends. They may be staying out later and driving longer distances. Further, after the last two years of the pandemic, young people are eagerly returning to social activities and events.
Thus, some of the reasons why teenagers can be at a higher risk of crashing this summer include:
- More teens on the road
- Relaxed driving attitudes
- Driving longer distances for road trips
- Reckless driving, like speeding
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Teens driving with multiple passengers in the vehicle
- Driving while using a cell phone
These behaviors and decisions can happen on any day, but they can be especially likely during the summer months.
Protecting yourself and your teen
This summer, you can take steps to reduce the risk of an accident with teen drivers.
The most important thing you can do is practice safe driving habits yourself. Wear your seat belt; put away your phone; comply with traffic laws; find a sober ride home if you have been using drugs or drinking.
Parents of teen drivers would be wise to remind them of these precautions, as well. Further, teen drivers can prevent fatal car accidents by:
- Limiting the number of people riding in the car
- Keeping music at a reasonable volume
- Refraining from any reckless, unlawful driving
- Restricting driving to familiar places and daylight hours until they are more comfortable behind the wheel
These measures can protect drivers and their passengers every day, not just on the deadliest days. Being safe on the road and teaching new drivers to be safe can be crucial in reducing crash risk and severity.