Preventing Teen Car Accidents Over the ‘100 Deadliest Days’ of Summer
With school letting out, summer is the time for children of all ages to enjoy a greater freedom and more time to hang out with their friends. For teenagers who may have only recently gotten a driver’s license, this often means borrowing mom and dad’s car to and spending more time on the road.
Unfortunately, with the overall increase in the number of drivers, including teens, the summer months are known to be particularly dangerous for car accidents and injuries. The following outlines some of the reasons why teen driving accidents are so common, as well as steps parents can take to keep these young drivers safe.
Teen Driving Accidents
Memorial Day is the unofficial kick-off for summer, but it also heralds the seasons when teen driving accidents are more likely to occur. According to the non-profit group We Save Lives, which is headed by the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the three-month period of May through August is known as the ‘100 deadliest days of summer’.
During this time, nearly 300 teens throughout the country will be killed in car accidents, an increase of more than 25 percent over the other months of the year. Not only is there a higher rate of teenage fatalities over summer, but the high rate of accidents involving young people put other drivers and their passengers at an increased risk. Among the most common causes of teen car accidents include:
- Driver inexperience: Teenagers often lack the skills to respond properly to emergencies or even to changes in road, traffic, and weather conditions.
- Distracted driving: 60 percent of teen driving accidents are due to distracted driving, which includes using cellphones and texting, as well as being distracted by passengers.
- Speeding and other traffic violations: Teens are more likely to speed or drive too fast for conditions, while disregarding traffic signals.
- Driving under the influence: We Save Lives reports that one out of every three fatal motor vehicle accidents is a result of drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Preventing Teen Driving Accidents
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) advises that the state’s graduated teen driving laws help to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring by placing greater restrictions on young, inexperienced drivers, such as limiting the hours they are allowed to be on the road or requiring them to be accompanied by older drivers. Combined with tough law enforcement standards which impose serious consequences for traffic violations, these laws help to discourage the types of behaviors that lead to accidents. Parents can help by doing the following:
- Restrict the number of passengers your child has in the vehicle;
- Model good driving behavior yourself;
- Limit the amount of driving they do at night and on weekends;
- Insist that seat belts be worn at all times.
If you or your teen is involved in an accident, contact the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III to request a free consultation. Our Fort Pierce car accident attorney can help to ensure your rights are protected, while advising you on how to get compensation for your injuries.