Summer is just around the corner, and while that brings sun and fun, school vacations, and all kinds of trips and recreational outings, the Southern California branch of AAA has been taking the time to remind all of us that the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day also come with some unwelcome baggage: year after year, this stretch of approximately one hundred days is the most dangerous for drivers—but especially for teen drivers.
Annual Crash Spike
According to AAA, which has labelled this period the “100 Deadliest Days,” fatal crashes involving teen drivers jump 15 percent during the summer window. They attribute the seasonal increase to a combination of inexperience (teens have had the least practice as drivers) and greater road exposure (with classes out, teens spend more time behind the wheel).
Teen drivers are also more likely, as a group, to engage in dangerous behaviors while in a vehicle. The auto club cites data showing that at least three factors are more common in crashes involving teens than they are for most other drivers: distracted driving (such as texting) is a cause in nearly six out of ten crashes; 60 percent of teens killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts, which would have reduced their risk of serious injury or death in a crash; and speeding is involved in nearly 30 percent of fatal teen crashes.
These and other factors weigh heavily on the youngest drivers: sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than more experienced drivers. When discussing what has been the most high-profile problem in recent years a AAA spokesperson noted that “Combining distractions and inexperience behind the wheel is a recipe for disaster.”
Everyone Can Help
We’re sorry to point out that at least one local teen has died in a car crash since the start of these deadly days: A nineteen-year-old was killed in a high-speed crash, possibly while street racing, during the first week of June.
Teen drivers should remember that they are not invincible. Cars are powerful, heavy, fast moving—and potentially lethal high-speed projectiles. They should always be used carefully, especially by drivers who haven’t yet become proficient behind the wheel.
At the same time, parents need to teach by example. It isn’t enough to tell your teen not to drive while distracted or to stick to the speed limit. If a parent doesn’t follow their own advice, the lesson is wasted. Always drive the way you want your teens to. You’ll be a better and safer driver for it, and so will they.
Other teens can also exert positive peer pressure by always driving responsibly and demanding that their friends do the same. Showing disapproval can be equally or even more effective: If a teen asks a peer to stop a dangerous behavior, or refuses to get into a friend’s vehicle because of how he or she has behaved in the past, it can have a profound influence on a teen driver’s future actions.
Riverside Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been hurt in a car crash, give Dickson Kohan & Bablove, LLP a call. Our experienced team understands all aspects of automobile accident law, and we’ve helped hundreds of clients reach appropriate settlements in their cases. Reach us at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online through the form below to schedule a free appointment to discuss your case and how we can help you move forward.