Summer is unfortunately also known as the 100 deadliest days. This term refers to the rise in the number of motor vehicle crashes that occur. According to the safety advocates, We Save Lives, the reason for this is holiday events surrounding Memorial Day, Labor Day and July 4th (which is traditionally the deadliest few days of the year). The increased number of vacations and travel that take place also contribute.
Less talked about is that teens hit the road in force. Since the kids are not in school, parents give young drivers keys or permission to engage in a wide range of activities. This translates into a 26% increase in the number of vehicle crashes during the summer months compared to the other months of the year.
Unfortunately, we all have to start somewhere
Young drivers are inexperienced drivers, which means that they are more prone to making mistakes. According to Geico, 25% of 16-year-old drivers get involved in a car accident. That number goes down slightly in the following few years, but teens are responsible for nearly 17% of all accidents on the road for a total of 500,000 annually. This is the highest crash rate among any age group.
Common reasons for this
Along with the above data, other contributing factors include:
- Distracted driving: This is a problem for most age groups, but 60% of accidents involve distracted driving, which can consist of talking to friends in the vehicle, texting, or simply not paying attention to the road.
- Speeding: This is a factor in 31% of all fatalities on the road and 33% of all teen accidents.
- No seat belt: 60% of all teen fatalities on the road involve riding in a vehicle without using a seatbelt.
- Boys more reckless: Two-thirds of all teen driving accidents involve males.
Parents must be vigilant
The weather here in Minnesota is certainly less threatening in the summer, but all the above means that motor vehicles are the top cause of teen fatalities. Parents should remind teen drivers to be careful and quiz them on safety tips if necessary. Parents of teen passengers also need to have them call for a ride if the driver is not driving safely.
Reckless driving causes injury and death. No amount of compensation can bring a child back, but the pain and suffering endured by victims or their families can be eased by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Reckless behavior is part of growing up, but causing severe injury and trauma is something everyone has an obligation to avoid.