Keeping Your Teens Safe during the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer
Many parents dread the day a teenage child gets a driver’s license. With all the dangers on the road and recent CDC statistics pointing to motor vehicle crashes as the number one killer of teens, it is little wonder that parents start to worry when their teen begins driving. The CDC also reports that young people ages 15-24 represent only 14 percent of the population and yet they account for 30 percent of accidents amongst males and 28 percent of accidents amongst females. These statistics demonstrate the urgency with which we must educate teens into becoming more responsible drivers.
To add to parental anxiety, CNN.com recently published an article highlighting the 100 deadliest days of summer for teens. Memorial Day is commonly seen as the unofficial start of summer, but not many realize that it marks the beginning of the 100 deadliest days of summer, a time when motor vehicle crashes involving teens are at an all-time high. The CNN article states that in 2012, nearly 1,000 people were killed during the deadliest days of summer and that 550 of those killed were teenagers. In addition, the CDC recently stated that the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16-19 year-olds than in any other age group and that per mile driven, teen drivers from the ages of 16-19 are nearly three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers aged 20 or older.
One of the reasons there is a spike in vehicle crashes over the summer is due to the fact that more teens are driving with teen passengers and all teens have far more recreational time on their hands. The article quotes the National Safety Council’s Vice President as saying: “We have always known that passengers were a big risk for teens, but what we’re really finding out now is passengers may be one of the most important risks for teens even more so than things like texting.” The National Safety Council currently states that even one single young passenger can increase the risk of a deadly crash by an astounding 44 percent. The risk that passengers pose is something that many parents are not yet aware of. If your teen has had their license for less than a year, please consider not allowing your child to have young passengers until he or she has much more driving experience.
In a recent blog post, we highlighted the Center for the Study of young drivers; an organization that is doing something about teen distracted driving accidents. The center has worked with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety on a highly publicized study that involved putting cameras into the vehicles of newly licensed teens. This study revealed groundbreaking information, which will contribute to making a difference in saving the lives of teen drivers across America.