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The 100 deadliest days for teen drivers

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Summer in Kentucky means long days, pool parties, and for many teens, the newfound freedom of driving. But as the mercury rises, so does the risk on our roads.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, we’re in a dubious period known as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” – a time when the joy of summer break can turn tragic on the highways, especially for young drivers.

Let’s explore why teens are more vulnerable during this time and what parents can do to protect them.

The startling reality of teen driving accidents

Understanding the risks our teens face behind the wheel during these summer months is crucial. Here are some sobering statistics:

  • Teens aged 16 to 19 are involved in more accidents than any other age group.
  • Distractions play a role in 60% of teen crashes, with passengers, not cell phones, being the leading cause.
  • In 2020, an average of eight teens per day lost their lives in vehicle accidents.
  • Nighttime driving is particularly deadly, with 44% of teen auto fatalities occurring between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Weekends are also a dangerous time, with half of these deaths happening on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.
  • More than half of the teens who died in crashes were not wearing seat belts.

These stats aren’t just numbers; they represent real lives lost and families forever changed. But knowledge is power, and we can turn the tide with the right approach.

How can parents help keep their kids safe on the road?

As parents, you’re the frontline defense in the fight to keep your teen drivers safe. Here’s how you can help:

  • Never provide alcohol or drugs at teen gatherings. You could be held liable if an attendee drives impaired and crashes.
  • Model good behavior by avoiding distractions and never driving under the influence.
  • Assure your teen they can always call you for a safe ride home, no questions asked.
  • Practice driving with your teen regularly, demonstrating patience and safe driving habits.
  • Encourage them to use “Do Not Disturb” features on their phones while driving.
  • Require them to keep you informed of their whereabouts and plans.
  • Give them the strength to refuse rides from impaired or distracted friends.

Finally, talk to them extensively about seat belts, speeding and other basic highway safety laws, how to change a flat and pull safely off the road during an emergency. Your teen has a long life ahead of them. Following these tips can help increase their safety and those around them.