The “Deadly Days of Summer” Are Here for Teen Drivers

Teen on the phone after a Car Accident

100 Deadly Days

The AAA designates the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the deadliest days, particularly for teen drivers who are on the road more during the summer and whose inexperience and reckless may put them in a vulnerable position on the roadways. The numbers are telling.

Teens Have Bad Driving Records

According to AAA, the average number of deadly teen driver crashes increased by 15 percent over the summer compared to the rest of the year. Over the last five years, more than 1,600 have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the 100 days. ADHD and distractions, mainly teens using a smart phone and chatting with passengers, cause or contribute to nearly 60 percent of deadly teen-related crashes in the summer. Experts say this is hardly surprising because it is a fact that teen drivers are more focused on their phones than their surroundings.

Teen drivers, especially those who are 16 and 17, have a bad record overall, according to AAA. They are involved in 3.75 fatal accidents per 100 million miles driven, the highest of any age bracket except for people 80 and up. The fatality crash rate for 18- and 19-year-old is more than twice that of the safest age group, people in their 60s. California law requires that driver under 18 must not carry passengers under 20 or drive from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless they are accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old.

Tips for Teen Driver Safety

Here are a few tips for safe teen driving during the summer:

  • Wear your seatbelt at all times. Teens have the lowest rate of seatbelt use among all age groups and a majority of teens involved in fatal crashes tend to be unbelted. Parents need to set a good example by wearing seatbelts themselves and by making sure teens know about the importance of buckling up.
  • Put down that phone. Sixteen percent of all teen drivers involved in fatal crashes are distracted. And that means texting, talking or using social media apps. Parents should set ground rules early about using phones in the car.
  • Limit passengers because they can be a serious distraction. Parents should limit the number of passengers their teens can transport. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that restricting passengers is one area to help reduce fatal teen crashes.
  • Slow down. Excessive speed or driving at an unsafe speed are common causes of accidents involving teens as well.
  • Never drink and drive or ride with someone who has been drinking. Make sure your teen is comfortable calling home if they feel they cannot drive or is in a situation where a friend is driving drunk.
  • Do not drive fatigued. Driving while drowsy or sleepy is as dangerous as drunk driving.

If you have been injured in any type of car accident, our team of personal injury lawyers at the Demas Law Group, P.C., can help you better understand your legal rights. Call us at (916) 444-0100 to obtain more information about your options.