First responders in California and around the country are extremely busy in the summer months, and many of the motor vehicle accident victims they treat are teenagers. Between 2010 and 2019, accidents involving teen drivers between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays killed an average of 7,038 road users each year, which is why the American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety calls the period the “100 Deadliest Days on the Road.” Teen drivers take to the roads in large numbers in the summer months to attend barbeques, drive to beaches and visit college campuses, and the accidents they are involved in claim about seven lives every day.
Fatal car accidents involving teen drivers are often caused by inexperience. Teen drivers are three times more likely to crash at night than more experienced motorists, and failing to grasp just how dangerous some bad habits can be is one of the reasons why. About 60% of the teen drivers who crash each summer are distracted according to the AAA, and it is not just cellphones that cause their minds to wander. Eating and drinking behind the wheel or engaging in animated conversations with passengers can be just as distracting and just as deadly as making a phone call or sending a text message.
Impairment and excessive speed
When distraction is not a contributory factor, accidents involving teen drivers are usually caused by either impairment or speeding. Almost a third of the fatal accidents involving a teen driver in 2018 were caused at least in part by excessive speed according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that almost one in five U.S. high school students drive drunk or high at least once each month.
Keeping teen drivers safe
Parents can do their part to make the 100 deadliest days a bit safer by warning teen drivers about the dangers of exceeding posted speed limits, allowing their minds to wander and getting behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs. They should also set a good example by not engaging in this kind of risky behavior themselves. If you have been involved in a traffic accident and would like to discuss your legal options, you should contact the Law Office of Aman N. Shah to schedule a consultation.