This Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of a season where rates of car crash-related deaths among teens tragically rise. Dubbed ‘the 100 deadliest days’ by AAA, the time from Memorial Day until Labor Day sees a 14% increase in teenage auto accident related deaths when compared to other periods of time. This meant that an average of 1,022 deaths occurred from auto collisions which included teens between 2010 and 2014 during this season. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A study from AAA using the same data found that ,
This problem is caused primarily by distracted teens with insufficient driving experience. The following is a list from the CDC that identifies factors which significantly increase the risk of an accident occurring while driving:
- Driver inexperience
- Driving with teen passengers
- Nighttime driving
- Not using seat belts
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Reckless driving
- Impaired driving
Given that teenagers are more likely to engage in one or more of these actions, despite less time on the road, their behavior can drastically raise the probability of a collision occurring. The best way to reduce the number of teenage vehicle-related fatalities is to make sure teenage drivers follow the best safety practices at all times. Some recommendations from the CDC and AAA include:
- Limit the number of passengers: Teens are more susceptible to distractions than regular drivers, so make sure that whoever is in the car with your teenager won’t take their attention away from the road; follow the law, and ensure that only one passenger is allowed for teens who have had their license for less than six months
- Turn off the cellphone: Cellphone use while driving is highly dangerous for any type of driver. However, teens on average use their cellphones more frequently, which is why collision is 23 times more likely while texting and driving. Make sure no cell phone use is tolerated while your teen is on the road.
- Buckle up: The CDC says that 48% of teens who died in vehicle-related crashes in 2016 were not wearing a seat belt. Unfortunately, teen seat belt use is lowest out of all age groups. Proper and consistent seatbelt use is an easy way to minimize injury from car collisions.
- Practice Defensive Driving Yourself: Almost two-thirds of people killed in accidents involving teens were not teens themselves. Practice defensive driving so you are prepared if another motorist makes an error. Be on the lookout for an increased number of reckless drivers this summer and remember that accidents can happen because others are being unsafe, not just you.
If an auto accident has caused you or a loved one to suffer, you owe it to yourself to take action. The team at Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help. Reach out today to learn how we can assist you with your auto accident case.