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Seasonal Increase in Teen Car Crashes

The period from Memorial Day to Labor Day also marks “The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer,” when the amount of car accidents involving teen drivers spikes dramatically. While studies show that in the last 20 years crashes involving teens have decreased by 51% overall, the incidence of car accidents occurring specifically in the summer months continues to rise.
While car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S., often the teens involved in a car accident are not the ones injured. According to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately two thirds of the people injured or killed in car accidents involving teen drivers are people other than teens themselves. Specifically:

Fifty percent of injured people were in a car other than the teen’s
Seventeen percent of injured people were a passenger in the teen driver’s car
Thirty percent of people killed were in a car other than the teen’s
Twenty-seven percent of people killed were a passenger in the teen driver’s car

Preventing Car Accidents Involving Teenage Drivers

Some states have seen success in reducing teen car accident injuries and fatalities after implementing graduated licensing laws, which incrementally give teens more responsibility as they mature and become better equipped to handle more driving privileges.

Also, take advantage of nonprofit programs which educate teens beyond their classroom drivers’ education courses. These are often free for teens and can help them to develop the real life skills and techniques needed to avoid deadly car accidents.

Additionally, it is beneficial for parents to discuss their concerns with their teen in detail and have them sign a safe driving contract, so that both the expectations of the parents and the commitment of the teen are clearly defined.

Various factors put teens at a higher risk of causing a car accident, such as inexperience and the likelihood to engage in distracted driving or drowsy driving. Moreover, teens are more likely than adult drivers to exceed the speed limits, to tailgate, to underestimate dangerous conditions, and to drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol.