Many teens look forward to summer because they have more freedom from studies and more time to hang out with friends. But the 100 days of summer vacation also are the most dangerous for teenagers because they get into more car accidents during this time period.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that the period between Memorial Day and Labor day warning includes the ‘100 Deadliest Days’ for teen drivers. Nearly 800 teenagers die in traffic accidents during this period across the U.S., according to AAA. Each summer month, an average of 261 teens lose their lives in traffic crashes -a 26 percent increase compared with the rest of the year.
Teens tend to get into more car crashes during summer because they are out of school and spend more time in cars. Meanwhile, more adults are on the roads for summer travel, as well. This year, AAA has predicted a 10-year high in travel for Memorial Day weekend because of a rebounding economy and lower gas prices that, barring drastic changes, should extend throughout the season.
During summer, teenage drivers tend to drive more aimlessly and later at night, when the risk of crashing increases, the National Safety Council says. There are often more teens in the car, too, which increases the number of distractions and the risk of an accident exponentially.
Nine young drivers ages 15 to 20 were killed in traffic accidents in Hawaii in 2013, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
AAA says the risk of death for 16- and 17-year-old drivers increases by 44 percent when carrying one passenger under 21, doubles with two passengers, and quadruples with three or more, when compared to driving alone.
The risk of a teen accident rises when they get behind the wheel of a sports car or small vehicle, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute. Vehicles with high horsepower tempt teen drivers to speed and drive more
Most car accidents are preventable. Deborah Hersman, president and CEO at the NSC, said that parents should establish ground rules and expected behaviors for safe driving.
Parental involvement improves the odds of teen drivers returning home safely.
From the NSC, AAA and TeenDriving.com, here are a few steps parents can take: