For teenagers, cars may be integral to their summer memories. They may drive to beaches and lakes, parties, their first job, or even take the wheel during family vacation.
A Deadly Spike During the Summer
But unfortunately, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day are referred to as the “100 deadliest days” for teenage drivers. Fatalities in car crashes involving teenagers rises 15% over the rest of the year.
Why the sudden spike? Well, for most teenagers, those 100 days coincide with summer vacation. First, they have more time to spend on the road, as they’re not in school. Second, they may be going more places, including areas with which they are unfamiliar. Third, they may be inexperienced drivers who are not fully versed in how to operate a car safely.
A fourth factor, and one of the largest, is alcohol use. Summer is a time of parties. Alcohol consumption rises around holidays through the year, and summer for many teenagers is a holiday type of time.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that nearly 6% of drivers 16-17 years old and 15% of drivers 18-20 years old indicated that they drove under the influence of alcohol in 2010 (the last year for which statistics were available).
Teenage Road Fatalities Rising Overall
Throughout the year, the number of fatal vehicle crashes involving teenagers has been climbing recently. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatal crashes with a teenage driver rose over 10% in 2015.
While teens having free time, being in the car more, and drinking are all contributing factors, the immediate cause is all too often distraction. The top 3 distractions are using a cellphone, talking to other people in the car, and looking for items in the car, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Parents are urged to discuss driving safety with their teenagers. Emphasize the importance of driving without distractions. Urge them to use seatbelts and obey the speed limit. Advise them always to wear shoes rather than flip-flops or sandals when driving, as flip-flops and sandals can cause their feet to slip on the gas pedal or the brake.
When You Need Car Accident Lawyers in New York or New Jersey
The frightening statistics on the rise of teen deaths in cars, both during the summer and overall, should be a wake-up call to emphasize safety on the road.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in car accident in New York or New Jersey, please contact Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman to discuss your case. Our NY & NJ car accident lawyers will bring many decades of experience to bear on your case and will advise you about the best course of action to take.
- “ʹ100 Deadliest Days’ for Teen Drivers.” Your South Florida. PBS. https://www.pbs.org/video/100-deadliest-days-teen-drivers-dzsdic/
- Cruz, Roberto. “The ‘100 Deadliest Days’ for Teen Drivers Are Here.” Your AAA Magazine. May 1, 2017. https://magazine.northeast.aaa.com/magazine/life/cars-trucks/100-deadliest-days-teen-drivers/
- The Most Dangerous Times on the Road. Bactrack. June 30, 2015. https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/expert-center/35042821-the-most-dangerous-times-on-the-road