Summer vacation should be a time for school-age children to relax and enjoy themselves. But for teen drivers, summer break is becoming increasingly dangerous and even deadly. This phenomenon is so prevalent across the country that it has a name, “The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” To illustrate this issue and help teen drivers get home safe, we’ve put together this guide explaining what every parent must know about the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.”
What Are The 100 Deadliest Days?
The “100 Deadliest Days” is a term coined by the American Automobile Association (AAA), referring to the span between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During this time, teens are about 25% more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash. This is especially alarming when parents consider that car crashes are the leading cause of death in the U.S. for children ages 16-19.
It’s no surprise that the more inexperienced a teen driver, the more likely they are to be in a crash. On average, teen drivers are 3x more likely to be in a crash than someone age 20 or older. More troubling is that drivers who earned their license within the past three months are about 1.5x more likely to be in a crash than other teen drivers.
The problem is that teens are already at higher risk of being in a car crash, and summer vacation gives them the freedom to be on the road more often. In many cases, it’s probability in action; the longer an inexperienced driver is on the road, the more likely they are to be in a crash. However, there are a number of contributing factors which, if addressed, could significantly reduce these crashes and potentially save lives.
While distracted driving is a serious problem for teens, data suggests that one of the biggest predicting factors of a crash is how many teenagers are in the vehicle. When a young driver is at the wheel, each additional passenger of their age group multiplies the risk of a fatal crash.
Unsafe speeding is a factor in about 1-in-3 teen car crashes. Generally, the longer a teen has their license, the more confident they feel about speeding, which is why drivers ages 18-19 are most likely to be in these kinds of crashes. Typically, young men are about 2x more likely to be in a speeding-related crash than women of the same age.
It’s critical for new drivers to understand that there is no safe amount of speeding. Higher speeds require significantly faster reaction times. Additionally, each MPH over the speed limit means more force in a wreck, increasing the likelihood that a crash will be fatal.
Drinking and driving accounts for about 25% of all teen car crash fatalities. These incidents are always preventable, but many teenagers needlessly put themselves at risk by taking rides from drivers they know are intoxicated. These incidents are increasingly common during summer break as teens are more likely to attend parties.
While underage drinking is illegal, it is also essential to recognize that there is no safe amount of alcohol consumption for teen drivers. A teenager with 0.01% BAC is significantly more likely to be in a crash than an adult driver with the same BAC. It’s absolutely crucial then for parents to educate their teens on the dangers of drinking and warn them against taking rides from intoxicated friends.
Protecting Your Teen Driver
Preventing teen car crashes starts at home. Teens follow their parent’s lead, which is why households with parents who drive more defensively tend to see fewer car crashes. Just as important is that driver education comes from parents; according to the CDC, teens are significantly less likely to be in a crash when parents take deliberate steps to educate them on the dangers and establish a driving agreement. The more often parents step up and help their children grow, the more likely we will see a decrease in the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer.
If your teen driver suffered severe injuries in a crash, we can help. To schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Luzerne County car accident attorney from Slusser Law Firm, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (570) 405-9953 or send us an email.