Summer is here and with it comes a lot of fun in the sun and time with family. Unfortunately, the summer is also the most dangerous time of the year in terms of teen car accidents. It’s known as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer (typically June-August), a time when teens are more likely to be involved in and killed by serious vehicle accidents.
During the year, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. This is not surprising as teens also have the highest crash rate of any age group. In the summer, however, the number of deaths rise 26% compared with other months of the year with an average of 260 teens killed each month during the summer.
There’s many reasons for these stats and why teens are involved in these crashes. Distractions such as friends in the car, texting and talking on the phone are all causes of crashes.
For parents, there are a few things you can do to prevent distracted driving. Driving with passengers, especially friends, can be a huge distraction for young drivers, so it’s important they have lots of driving experience under their belt before they invite friends into their car. Each teen is different so its important to know your teen and if they’re ready to drive with others in the car.
When it comes to their cell phones and other distractions like the radio, there’s many apps and vehicles themselves that help reduce or eliminate the distractions by locking functions. You should talk with your teen and make sure they understand the full consequences of being distracted even for just a second. More importantly, you should set the example for them. A recent survey from the National Safety Council found that 91 percent of parents use their cell phones in front of their teens while driving.
Finally, a last sobering statistic, for every 100,000 adults in America under 21, 1.2 people were killed in drunk driving in 2015. These numbers often rise from year to year.
While these are important issues, it’s also important that your teen knows the basic driving safety rules and follows them carefully. It’s just as important to drive within speed and follow the signage as it is to avoid distractions. Keep your family and your teen safe by talking about safe driving with them.
Visit wesavelives.org for more parent tips on how to encourage safe driving this summer.
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