Teen Safety: Surviving The Deadliest Days of Summer
The “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” is not the title of a new blockbuster film playing at a theater near you. This is the term given to the period between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays which constitutes the hundred most dangerous days for teenage drivers. These are the days when a teenage motorist’s risk of being involved in an accident rises dramatically, especially when the teen is driving with passengers or driving aimlessly as teenagers often do during the summer months.
So, what can teenage parents do to keep their children safe during a season when teenagers are less likely to stay at home and are at a much higher risk of accidents when they do drive?
According to the AAA, an average of 261 teenagers dies every year during each of the summer months - May, June, July and August - in traffic accidents. That is an increase of 26% when compared with the death toll the rest of the year.
Students who often drive on aimless trips are at a much higher risk of accidents: No-purpose driving is widespread during summer months, and also comes with a much higher risk of accidents. When a teenager is driving around on fun trips with friends, he's usually driving on routes that are unfamiliar to him, typically routes that lead to rivers, lakes and other hangouts. Overall, a teenage motorist’s risk of being involved in an accident is approximately 3 times as high, compared to other drivers. Those risks are amplified during these months.
Minimize nonessential driving by your teenager. Set restrictions on the amount of driving that he can do per day or per week, and set penalties for violations. If you already have a parent-teen driving agreement in place, which already outlines all of the rules that are applicable to your teenage driver, make sure that these rules are followed during the summer months.
Another major cause of fatal accidents involving teenagers during summer is the increased presence of teenage passengers in the car. A teenager’s risk of being involved in an accident increases when he's driving with passengers of his own age group. The tendency to engage in dangerous, destructive or irresponsible driving practices exacerbates when he is driving with a group of friends, who are as inexperienced, and impulsive as he is. Set restrictions on driving with teenage passengers and driving at night.