As we come into the summer months, AAA offers a sobering warning: Memorial Day kicks off the 100 deadliest days of the year for teen drivers, as CNN reports. Over the past several years, the number of vehicle crashes involving teens ages 16-19 has spiked 16 percent per day during the 100-day period following Memorial Day.
Perhaps surprisingly for some, the biggest contributing factor in these crashes isn’t drinking or drugs (although these issues remain a consistent threat). Rather, it’s distracted driving, which contributes to about 60 percent of teen crashes during this season, according to the CNN report.
Why Teens May Be More Distracted Behind the Wheel in Summer
As school lets out, young people experience changes in their normal routines, including behind the wheel, which may contribute to increased distraction in several ways. For example:
- Driving unfamiliar roads. Teens may head to the beach, the parks or the mountains rather than to school, taking them into driving situations they don’t usually encounter.
- Passengers in the car. Friends in the passenger seats can be more distracting to a teen driver than even a cell phone—and can distract him for longer periods of time.
Safe Summer Driving Tips for Teens
To help your teen stay safe during the “100 deadliest days,” we recommend the following:
- Limit passengers. Some states even have laws restricting passengers for teen drivers. In Virginia, drivers under age 18 can only have one passenger under age 21 in the car. In Maryland, new drivers can’t have underage passengers for the first 151 days after being licensed.
- Stay alert and use caution, especially on unfamiliar roads, and especially at night.
- Stay off the phone while driving. Texting and talking on the phone while driving remain ongoing dangers for teens.
If you or someone you love becomes a victim of an injury accident, our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys can help you. Call our offices for a free case evaluation.