Summer is finally here and everybody is looking forward to enjoying the season. From visiting friends and family for barbecues to traveling for summer vacation, there’s plenty of reasons for Texans to hit the road.
However, parents and their teen drivers need to be vigilant right now as we enter “The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” From Memorial Day to Labor During, car accident rates increase, especially when teenage drivers are involved.
Your Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns would like to inform you of the dangers of the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer and also give you some tips on how your teen driver can better protect themselves.
Statistics Regarding the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer
Over the past five years, nearly 3,500 people have been killed in crashes that involved teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer. Additionally:
- It is estimated that an average of 260 teens lose their lives on U.S. road each summer month.
- This is a 26 percent rate increase in comparison to the other months of the year.
- 60 percent of teen crashes are caused by distracted driving.
- 36 percent of all crashes involving a teen driver occurred between 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Major factors that contribute to fatal teen crashes include:
- Speeding/Reckless Driving – 35 percent of teenage drivers are speeding at the time of the incident. Male teens are at a greater risk of speeding and being involved in a fatal accident.
- Distractions – From cell phone use to too many passengers in the vehicle, inexperienced drivers and distracted driving can easily lead to a fatal accident.
- Drinking and Driving – Drinking and driving (or driving while under the influence of any illegal substance) is dangerous for even experienced drivers. Inexperienced drivers can suffer severely from these types of driving behaviors and should be avoided at all costs.
Teen drivers’ lack of driving experience can make them underestimate dangerous situations.
Safety Tips for Teen Drivers to Stay Safe This Summer
According to Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “Crash data shows that teens are a vulnerable driver group with a higher probability of being involved in crashes, and while teens may make mistakes when first learning to drive, it is important to continue educating them about safety behind the wheel so they avoid the reckless behaviors that put themselves and others at risk on the road.”
It is up to parents to teach safe driving behaviors and for their teen drivers to practice them.
AAA encourages parents to:
- Talk with their teen early and often about the dangers of being behind the wheel.
- Be an example and minimize risky behavior when driving, including avoiding using your cell phone.
- Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.
- Discuss driving privileges and consequences of failing to meet expectations.
- Remind your teen to always use their safety belt.
- Limit the number of friends they are able to have in their vehicle while driving.
Teen driver responsibilities should include:
- Storing cell phone out of reach.
- Minding the speed limit.
- Staying away from substances like alcohol and marijuana.
- Avoiding riding in a car with a friend who has been drinking or taking drugs.
- Avoiding eating while driving (or any other general distraction in which they will not have their hands on the wheel.)
The summer season should be full of family fun and relaxation. Teach your teen how to drive responsibly and act appropriately when behind the wheel.