According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are the #1 cause of teen death. Sadly, teen fatalities are highest of from June-August. To help both parents educate their children about the increased risk, we need to ask a difficult question: Is your child safe from the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer?”
At the best of times, teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident than a driver over the age of 20. In summer, the risk is even higher. Between June 1st and August 31, teen drivers are 26% more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident.
A teen’s driving inexperience isn’t the only cause. Car-related injuries always rise in the summer for both drivers and pedestrians. However, because teens are already at a higher risk, they tend to see a disproportionate impact, especially when summer vacation grants them the freedom to drive as often as they like.
With gentle guidance and attention to safety, parents and teens can work together to lower these historically high numbers. A few steps teens can take to decrease the chances of serious injury include:
Wearing a Seatbelt
Though we’ve had a seatbelt law since 1972, more than 1-in-5 Mississippi residents still don’t wear their seatbelts. Keep in mind that nearly half of people killed in car crashes did not wear their seatbelts.
As we discussed previously, DUI’s are the top cause of Mississippi traffic fatalities. Teen drivers, especially young men, are at an especially high risk. In 2017, 20% of male teens killed in car crashes had been drinking.
Watch the Speed Limit
Most teens start off as cautious drivers but tend to speed as they become more confident drivers. Speeding always results in more severe car crashes. Sadly, 30% of teen drivers killed each year were speeding at the time of the crash.
Avoid Driving at Night
Half of all car accidents occur between 11pm and 5am. While an intermediate license does not permit driving after 10pm, 50% of teen car crashes occur between 9pm-5am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
We all want our kids to get home safely. While they may shrug off our advice, it’s crucial they understand the risks of overconfident driving, DUIs, and ignoring seatbelts. Let your teen know that you’re there for them. A gesture as small as offering to drive them home from a party could be the difference between life and death.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a summer car accident, we can fight for you. If you’d like an experienced Starkville injury attorney from Vollor Law Firm, P.A. to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (662) 269-6188.