The period of 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day is referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” for teens in the United States. This is because 9 of the 10 deadliest days for teenage drivers typically fall within this timeframe. In fact, nearly 700 people die each summer in the U.S. in motor vehicle accidents involving teenagers, according to AAA.
Despite these frightening statistics, teens and their parents can reduce their risk of getting into a fatal summertime car accident by following some basic safety tips.
Why Summer Is a More Dangerous Time for Teen Drivers
Summer is a time when American teenagers often look forward to leisure and fun with friends because schools are typically out of session. However, this extra free time can lead to trouble for teen drivers.
U.S. highways are often more dangerous for teens in the summer because there are more people on the road, including other inexperienced drivers. Increasing this risk is that some high schoolers spend their time off school drinking or doing drugs with friends before they drive home.
Beyond these unique risks for teenagers, roads across the U.S. are generally more dangerous than usual at several points during the summer. Some of the deadliest holidays of the year fall during this timeframe, including Independence Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The Pandemic’s Impact on Summer Safety
While summertime is already a dangerous time for teen drivers, they face an even greater risk on the road in 2020 with the unique circumstances of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Many teenagers have been cooped up in the house, and they’re anxious to get out to see friends or just go for a drive. However, most of these young drivers haven’t been able to practice their driving skills as much over the past several months as they normally would, meaning they might not be fully prepared to drive on their own.
Recent studies show that roads across the U.S. have become much more dangerous as states have begun to ease their coronavirus-related lockdowns. While traffic volumes have been lower lately and the number of car accidents has gone down, fatality rates from these crashes have increased dramatically, according to the National Safety Council.
This research shows that with fewer cars on the road, many drivers are speeding and driving more recklessly, leading to wrecks that are even more devastating than typical summertime accidents.
Tips for Teen Drivers During the 100 Deadliest Days
The best way for teens to reduce their risk of a car accident during the 100 Deadliest Days is to prepare before they get on the road through steps, such as:
- Avoid drinking alcohol or using other impairing substances like marijuana.
- If you think you might drink at an event, arrange for a safe ride home before even leaving the house.
- Before getting on the road, tell family and friends that you won’t be available to respond to texts or calls until you reach your destination.
Once on the road, teenagers can improve their safety and help protect those around them by wearing a seatbelt, making everyone in their car wears a seatbelt, avoiding speeding, and obeying other traffic laws and signals.
Teens can also reduce their risk of injury or accident if they place their phone in a place where they can’t reach it while they’re driving and refrain from other distractions like eating while driving or talking with passengers.
Florida law prohibits many teens from driving from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. unless they have a licensed driver in the car who is at least 21 years old.
Teen Driver Accident Statistics
Studies showed that over 250 teenagers die in car wrecks each month of the summer, which is 26 percent higher than teens’ fatality rates in other months of the year.
These reports also showed that over 40 percent of young drivers had admitted to speeding on residential streets or highways within the month prior to the study. Speeding causes nearly 30 percent of teens’ deadly summer accidents, while drunk driving causes around 17 percent, and distracted driving causes almost 10 percent.
How to Talk to Your Teen About Summer Driving Safety
Florida permits teens to get an intermediate driver’s license after they practice driving with an eligible licensed driver for at least 50 hours, including 10 at night. However, these are bare minimum requirements.
Parents can also help protect their teens before handing over the keys by talking with them about safe driving practices, such as the need to obey traffic laws and the importance of avoiding driving while intoxicated, drowsy, or distracted. Parents can also have their teen practice driving while they are in the car, so parents can ensure their child has the skills they need to stay safe on the road.
Parents must take care to model safe driving practices while they’re driving with teenagers in the car. Kids will often follow the example parents set, so it’s critical to avoid driving recklessly or aggressively and to refrain from practices that might tempt teens like texting and driving.
Parents might also consider signing a “driving agreement” with their teen that outlines their family’s driving rules, the conditions that both the parents and teens agree to, and the consequences if anyone breaks these rules.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Hollywood Now
No matter how safely you drive, crashes can still happen. If you or your teenager were in a serious motor vehicle accident, Rosen & Ohr Law is here to help. Our trusted car accident attorneys have over 45 years of experience helping families just like yours get on the road to recovery after tragic accidents. We’re prepared to do the same for you.
Don’t wait to stand up for your legal rights and the compensation you’re owed after a wreck. To schedule your free case evaluation, contact Rosen & Ohr Law. today by phone or reach us online.