With school out nearly everywhere for summer break, the country has fully entered the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers and passengers. In the hundred days that stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day, teens are injured and killed at a rate double that of others months. Of the ten deadliest days for teenagers in automobiles, nine fall in the summer.
The reasons for this increase are debatable, but likely include some combination of:
- Teens spending significantly more time on the roads, whether it be driving back and forth from summer jobs or taking vacations and road trips with friends and family
- Increased incidence of teen drinking during summer parties and other events
- Use of cell phones, including texting and calling, possibly increasing due to more free time and less structured time with friends
Of these, two are preventable causes. Though there is not much to be done to limit the amount of miles teens rack up on vacations and other trips, limiting drunk driving and distracted driving could significantly decrease the fatality and injury rate. Teens are not legally old enough to drink, but significant numbers do anyway. And the vast majority of teenagers have cell phones.
One important step parents can take is modeling appropriate driving behavior to their teenagers. Parents should never drink and drive or drive while distracted, and should follow traffic laws and respect speed limits. Teenagers learn from what they see, and society needs to ensure that teenagers are seeing safe driving.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a car accident, there is a reasonable likelihood that drinking or distracted driving played a role. Only a full investigation of the circumstances that led to the crash can determine exactly what happened. Please, consult with an experienced attorney about your case.