The days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the “100 Deadliest Days” on the road. Over the past five years, nearly 3,500 people have died in crashes involving teen drivers during this peak summer period.
Now is the time to talk to young drivers, warning them to drive safely and stay especially alert during the summer vacation months.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that for the youngest drivers—those aged 16 to 19—the average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers was 17% higher per day during this time period.
Crash data shows the major factors in accidents during this period are speeding (28%), drunk driving (17%), and distracted driving (9%). More than half of teens in the study admitted to reading a text message or email while driving, and almost 40% said they sent a text or email.
Together, those three mistakes lead to an average of almost 700 fatalities in crashes involving teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days each year.
It’s up to all of us to help reduce the risk during this especially dangerous period, and getting teen drivers to understand the importance of safe vehicle operation is a critical step. Minimizing distractions is possibly the most important thing to do. Older drivers—who are just as likely to have bad driving habits—should lead by example and keep their mobile devices switched off while driving.
Other distractions, like talking to passengers or fiddling with the radio, should also be resisted. Drivers should follow basic good practices, such as not driving while fatigued and reducing speed when road or weather conditions are less than ideal. Proper use of safety features should be encouraged, including seat belt use.
AAA has an entire website devoted to educating teens about the risks they face when they get behind the wheel, and they offer advice for parents to begin (or continue) the safe driving discussion with their children. They even offer materials, including a free two-hour webinar, to help parents learn to communicate more effectively with their young drivers.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a car crash, you are urged to contact the attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. An Indianapolis car accident lawyer from WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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