Your teenager has been counting down the days until summer vacation, and to be honest, so have you. The winter was especially brutal, and the thought of taking a break and hitting the beach seems well deserved for both of you. However, you should discuss a few things with your teen before he takes off for Country Club Plaza to help protect him from a fatal summer crash.
Summer Is Especially Deadly for Teenage Drivers
You may have heard that summer is peak season for fatal car accidents. But, what you may not know is that the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day—also called the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer—includes seven of the top 10 deadliest car crash days of the year. Add this to the fact that car accidents remain the leading cause of death for 15 to 22-year-olds and it seems like a perfect storm for teenage car wrecks.
Why Are Teens More at Risk for Car Crashes?
There are a few reasons teenagers are more likely to suffer summer accidents. Teenagers are more likely to be outdoors in summer, as they have time off during daytime hours and stay out until late at night. However, there are additional factors they should protect themselves against, including:
- Texting – A major cause of teenage accidents, texting is still incredibly dangerous—even if the teenagers is reading and not responding. A recent survey found that while 60 percent of teens text at red lights, as many as 80 percent glance at their phones when stopped in traffic.
- Impatience – Teenagers are constantly in a hurry—even in summer—and are more likely to make dangerous, last-minute maneuvers than other drivers are.
- Vacations – Holiday weekends fill the roads with people, immediately increasing the risk of an accident. In addition to more drivers, unfamiliar roads, alcohol use, and a party atmosphere can lead to your teenager suffering a fender-bender—or worse.
- Nighttime driving – Sleep deprivation can have as much of an impact on a driver as alcohol. Teens leaving late from a party or trying to get home on Route 56 after a late-night shift may struggle to stay awake. Many are more likely to “push through” fatigue than pull over.
Remember: Do as You Want Your Children to Do
While parents may warn their children against bad driving behaviors, it often does not stop them from doing the same maneuvers themselves. A survey found that nearly half of teenage drivers who received warnings against texting by their parents, had witnessed their parent sending or receiving a text while driving. Teenagers who also witness their parents breaking traffic laws or taking risks are more likely to mimic the behavior, regardless if the parent tells the teen never to do it themselves.
There are more ways to protect your teen from a summer crash: Read our related articles on this page or download our free guide, Don't Wreck Your Injury Claim, to find out which steps to take after an accident.