Several safety organizations are spotlighting the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer,” a safety campaign meant to educate teen drivers and families about the dangers of summer driving. Although most people look forward to carefree summer living, safe driving should always be on the radar. For teenage drivers on summer break, thoughts of partying with friends and staying out late may take priority, but proponents of the campaign hope to bring driving safety into the forefront for everyone.
Auto Crashes Increase in Summer
From Memorial Day through the first days of school, the number of car crashes for age 16 to 19 drivers increases by about 16 percent; one reason is because they have extra time on their hands. AAA found that each year over the past five years, approximately 1,000 people lost their lives in accidents involving teen drivers. These findings are based on information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Out of these crashes, about 58 percent can be blamed on driver distractions, like texting, interacting with other passengers, looking at things in the vehicle, and cell phone use. Other risk factors for accident injuries include driving too fast and not wearing seatbelts.
Keeping Teen Drivers Safer
Parents of teenage drivers should encourage safe driving and can start by setting ground rules. It is common knowledge that teens are highly connected to their cell phones and are more likely to text and talk while driving. The NHTSA found that the percentage of drivers ages 16 to 24 showed an increase of hand-held device usage from one percent in 2007 to almost five percent in 2014. A related study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed that texting while driving increased crash risk by 23 percent.
Novice drivers may also not realize the gravity of drunk or drugged driving. One mistake can lead to a fatality at worst; or at minimum, have other detrimental effects like increased insurance premiums, fines, job loss, or an inability to gain college acceptance. Parents can educate their teens about these dangers and offer to help their children out if they need a ride or rescue from a threatening situation – without punishment.
Teens can also be encouraged to refuse to ride with someone else that is under the influence or otherwise distracted. We Save Lives’s “Courage to Intervene” promise empowers teens to avoid riding with these drivers and to prevent them from getting behind the wheel in the first place.
Start with a Contract
Teenagers look forward to the summer months, and keeping them safe should be their parents’ priority. We Save Lives wants to let everyone know that on average, 260 teens die in fatal auto accidents every summer, and they urge parents to set safe driving rules. AAA has a parent/teen driving contract on their website, which can provide a good starting point. Having this in writing and maintaining ongoing, open communications with these young drivers can set a solid foundation for a lifetime of safe driving.
Philadelphia Accident Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Provide Trusted Legal Guidance for Teen Driving Accidents
Summer is an excellent time to advocate for safe driving, but if you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a car accident, reach out to the Philadelphia accident lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. for a free case evaluation. Call us at 888-999-1962 or complete an online contact form today. We have offices in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Pinehurst, North Carolina, and also serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, including those in Bucks County and Delaware County.