The Memorial Day weekend – the start of summer – is fast approaching. Unfortunately, summer time is also the deadliest season for teen drivers. And even though we’d rather view summer as those long, lazy days consisting of no school, barbecues, swimming and hanging out with friends, we can’t avoid the glaring statistics of teen driving in the summer months.
According to AAA, nearly 800 teen drivers lose their life between Memorial Day and Labor Day. That’s an average of 261 teen deaths each month during the summer – a 26% increase to the average month of the year.
So why are their so many teen deaths during the summer months? The answer is pretty straightforward. During the summer, teen drivers are out of school and they tend to spend more time driving. They are also more likely to be carrying teen passengers during this time which would significantly increase the number of teen deaths as more teens are inside the vehicle. And with more teen passengers comes more distraction. In fact, distracted driving is a factor in 58% of all teen automobile accidents.
With 58% of teen crashes involving distracted driving, it’s worth mentioning how simply an accident can occur even doing seemingly mundane tasks like changing a radio station, looking at a passenger or simply reaching for something inside the vehicle. Of course one of the biggest culprits these days in distracted driving involves use of the cellphone including texting and talking. Keep in mind that at a speed of 55 mph, a vehicle travels the length of a football field in just 5 seconds!
It may be time to revisit your family rules involving your teens and driving. Remember, automobile crashes are the #1 cause of teenage deaths. And as we stated, during the summertime, teen deaths increase exponentially.