Summer Months A Challenge For Younger Drivers

There is nothing quite like the feeling of getting out of school at the start of summer break. For teen drivers, the summer months mark the first real opportunity to get out on the road. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the summer months also mark a time of increased danger of deadly car accidents involving teen drivers. The increase in car accident fatalities has led the AAA to name the period after Memorial Day the “100 deadliest days” of summer.

During the summer break, approximately 1,000 fatalities will occur in vehicle accidents involving at least one driver aged 16-19. That is a 16 percent increase over the non-summer months. Drivers in this age group are always at higher risk. Per mile driven, teen drivers are nearly three times as likely to die in a crash as older drivers. The risk is at its greatest in the first few months after getting a license, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There is no single culprit in analyzing fatal car accidents involving teens. The causes of these accidents vary, as they do with any age group. That said, distracted driving is a particular problem among the youngest drivers. Many parents fret over the relationship their teens seem to have with cell phones. The image of a group of teens, each ignoring the others to stare at a phone is typical. Some even consider cell phones an addiction. Whether an addiction or a mere distraction, cell phone use is not compatible with safe driving. Parents should take particular care in making sure the teen drivers in their households are not engaging in distracted driving.

Source: USA Today, “AAA: 100 ‘deadliest days’ of summer: Teens on the road after Memorial Day,” by Bart Jansen, 1 June 2016

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