Talking to Your Teen Driver About “The 100 Deadliest Days” This Summer
Every parent worries about their teen driver’s safety. You’ve probably spent hours reviewing safe driving and practicing with your teen. Unfortunately, your teen driver still faces risks every time they get behind the wheel.
The most important time to discuss teen driver safety is quickly approaching. Stokes Stemle, LLC is here to provide what you should review with your teen before the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer.
When Are the 100 Deadliest Days?
Teens are always at a higher risk of being involved in a fatal collision. But there is a period when that danger is much greater. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the 100 days from Memorial Day to Labor Day are the “deadliest days” for teen drivers. They report more than 1,050 people killed in crashes involving a teen driver during the 100 Deadliest Days one recent year, an average of 10 people per day.
8 Startling Teen Driver Accident Statistics
Teen driving statistics such as the following highlight the risks of the road for less experienced drivers:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), motor vehicle traffic crashes are the second leading cause of death for teens in the United States.
- Almost 2,400 U.S. teens were killed in auto accidents in one recent year, meaning about 7 teens died due to motor vehicle crashes every day.
- About 258,000 more teens were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in auto crashes.
- In cases where seat belt use was known, almost half of all teen drivers and passengers 16–19 years of age who died in car crashes were unrestrained.
- While young drivers were only about 5 percent of all licensed drivers that year, they were nearly 8 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes.
- Young male drivers were more than twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash than females.
- In Alabama, about 14 percent of traffic fatalities were in crashes involving young drivers that year, with 129 fatalities.
- Alabama teenage car wrecks are almost half of all preventable deaths for residents under 18 years old each year, citing driver inexperience.
Talking Points for Teen Driver Safety
When talking to your teen driver about the 100 Deadliest Days this summer, keep the following in mind:
- Avoid distractions — Driving requires even an experienced driver’s full attention. Stress to your teen that distractions must wait until they come to a safe stop. They should avoid cell phone use, grooming, and talking to friends while driving.
- No alcohol or drug use — Besides the fact that any alcohol and drug use is illegal for your teen driver, they should know the serious consequences of impaired driving. Come up with a plan with your teen for if they’re ever in a situation where they can’t get home safely on their own.
- Don’t drive drowsy — Driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Teen drivers should find a safe place to pull off and rest or get help if they start feeling drowsy while behind the wheel.
- Wear a seat belt — Seat belts save lives. Make sure your teen knows that they shouldn’t be in a vehicle without using a seat belt. They also shouldn’t drive without all passengers wearing seat belts.
- Teach by example — When you have your teen driver in the car, set an example of safe driving. Follow traffic laws, don’t give in to road rage, and use teaching moments when possible.