According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teen drivers aged 15 – 20 experience the most car accidents between Memorial Day and Labor Day. More free time, less parental supervision, and limited experience behind the wheel are the main reasons teens are involved in more wrecks during the summer months.
Teen Car Accident Data in the Summertime
The American Automobile Association (AAA) calls the driving period beginning with Memorial Day the “100 deadliest days” of the year. A study using crash data provided by NHTSA found that over each of the past five years, an average of 1,022 people are fatally injured in car accidents involving teens during the 100 days following Memorial Day. That equates to more than ten fatalities per day. The fatality rate for crashes involving teens increases around 16 percent during the summer months.
A teenager’s brain is still developing, making them less emotionally mature and more likely to take risks. Talking or texting on cell phones are the most common driver distractions. Statistics show that teen drivers are also less likely to use seatbelts or sufficiently assess their environment for hazards, and are more likely to drive too fast for the road conditions, and transport multiple teen passengers – all increased risk factors for car accidents and injuries. Distracted driving is the most common risky behavior teen drivers engage in, causing more than half of teen car accidents during the summer months.
Summer Teen Driving Safety
Because teen drivers are more likely to make decisions that compromise their safety, it is important for parents and guardians to introduce and consistently reinforce safe driving techniques. Parents should set clear and consistent rules for teenage drivers. Teens need to experience real consequences for broken rules. When teens are physically or emotionally capable of making the best decisions for their own safety, parents need to make those decisions for them, by setting well-defined limits on their driving.
Young drivers should first and foremost be accountable to all local, state, and federal driving laws based upon their age and driving experience. Such laws define when teens can drive, how far they can drive, and how many passengers they can transport. Teens should check in with parents or guardians for every trip, letting them know where they are going, how long they will be there, and with whom they are traveling. Teens are expected to follow traffic signs and laws and should face real penalties for not doing so.
With good driving habits, a new teenage driver can earn their parents trust along with more time behind the wheel. Parents are not alone in their effort to keep their teen drivers safe. There are countless programs and resources available for support, including AAA’s Keys2Drive campaign, which offers families the latest research and tools on teen driver safety.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Those Injured in Car Accidents Involving Teen Drivers
If you have been injured by a distracted or reckless driver, the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will fight for you. We will work tirelessly to obtain the compensation you deserve to pay for your medical expenses and pain and suffering caused by your car accident. Schedule a free consultation by calling 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623 or contact us online.
Our offices are conveniently located throughout South Carolina, where we proudly serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, including those in the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.