Summer officially begins on June 21st and with it comes beautiful weather, trips to the beach, and vacation. While summer is usually synonymous with relaxation and fun, it also kicks off the 100 deadliest days for teens.
The 100 deadliest days is a period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the number of crash fatalities involving teen drivers historically rise. According to We Save Lives, an average of 260 teens are killed in car crashes each month during summer. That is a 26% increase compared to other months of the year.
Almost all car accidents are not really accidents at all; they are preventable. In the few weeks leading up to summer, prioritize safety by educating yourself and your teen on driving best practices. Review the driving safety tips below to help keep our roads safe for all drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, no matter what season.
Put the Distractions Away
Approximately 60% of teen crashes today are caused by distracted driving. During summer months, distracted driving contributes to 9% of fatal teen car crashes. To help limit the temptation to engage in distracting behaviors, drivers should have their directions set up, desired music playing, climate controls set, and cell phone put away prior to putting the car in drive.
Teens should also refrain from eating or drinking, applying makeup, and talking on the phone while driving.
Drive on the Defense
Defensive driving is known to saves lives and prevents the likelihood of a crash. “If you practice defensive driving techniques, then the chance of an accident is much lower,” note the accident lawyers at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates, “defensive driving means maintaining safe following distances, anticipating other drivers and their actions, and avoiding dangerous situations.”
Never assume other drivers are sober, alert, and obey the rules of the road. Expecting other drivers to make mistakes will enhance your ability to proactively prevent an accident.
Obey Speed Limits
Speeding is another leading cause of fatal car crashes for teens. On a national scale, speeding killed 9,717 people in 2017, accounting for more than a quarter of traffic fatalities that year.
When a driver chooses to speed, they are at risk for greater potential for loss of vehicle control, reduced effectiveness of protection features, and increased fuel cost. If a driver subsequently gets into a crash, the severity of the crash is significantly increased. A speeding driver will also most likely be held liable for a car crash.
Never Drink and Drive
If you or your teen have been drinking, never get behind the wheel of a car. Encourage your teens to contact you if they are in a potentially dangerous driving situation. Also encourage teens to say no to a ride with a driver who has been consuming alcohol or drugs.
If you are planning to attend a function that will be serving alcohol and you will be drinking, make other accommodations for travel. Uber, Lyft, taxis, shuttles, and limos are all options to help prevent impaired drivers on the road. Plus, they can be fun!
You Can Make Summer Safer
Car accidents are rarely accidents. With an increased awareness on the road, you and your teen can prevent crashes before they happen. Make this summer as safe as possible by applying these four driving safety tips today!