Memorial Day weekend symbolizes the unofficial start to the summer season. It also marks the beginning of the most dangerous time for teen drivers. Referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days”, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is a time when the number of fatal accidents involving a teenage driver increases.
Teens and summer car crashes
Crash data from the American Automobile Association (AAA) shows several major factors that contribute to the increase in teen driving fatalities during the summer, including speeding, drinking and driving, and distracted driving. Teens have a higher probability of being involved in a car accident and, because they are out of school in the summer and driving more for fun and recreation, the number of accidents involving teens increases dramatically.
The AAA reports that half of teenage drivers admit speeding on residential streets and almost 40 percent reported speeding on the highway. Driving over the speed limit dramatically increases the severity of a car accident and is a continuing problem among teenage drivers.
Drinking and Driving
Because the legal drinking age is 21 years, teenage drinking and driving should not be an issue. However, reports show that in summer car accidents that proved fatal, one out of six teenage drivers tested positive for alcohol.
Today’s teenagers are seemingly attached to their cell phones. And they don’t put them away when they take to the wheel. According to the AAA, 52 percent of teen drivers admit that they have read text messages or email while driving during the previous 30 days; almost 40 percent said they sent a text or email. Detecting distracted driving after an accident is challenging for law enforcement, and, as such, this negligent behavior is one of the most underreported traffic safety issues.
Inexperience puts teen drivers at increased risk
Teen drivers are inexperienced drivers. When facing a new situation on the road, teen drivers often make rookie mistakes which – when combined with other factors — can be deadly. For example, driving in a heavy rainstorm poses certain risks, but an experienced driver knows the steps to take to reduce those hazards. An inexperienced teen driver, on the other hand, may continue to drive over the speed limit, or not turn the headlights on, which increases the risk of an accident.
Tips for keeping teen drivers safe in the summer
When school lets out and teen drivers crave the freedom of getting behind the wheel, it is a good time to review some basic safety measures to keep everyone safe this summer. Discuss the dangers of distracted driving, speeding, and drinking while driving. Provide guidelines for cell phone use while driving and how to select a designated driver for the night. Stress open communication and encourage your teen driver to reach out to you if they feel unable to drive home safely or if their designated driver has consumed alcohol.
Injured in an accident in NJ? We can help
When a car accident interrupts your summer plans and results in injury, we can help. At Leonard Legal Group, LLC, our experienced New Jersey accident attorneys successfully advocate on behalf of injured victims to recover the compensation you deserve for injuries due to the negligence of another. Our team is available for a confidential consultation, to answer your questions, address your concerns, and discuss the process for filing a personal injury claim. Contact our office at 973-984-1414 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.