As schools close for the summer, teenagers lucky enough to have their driver's licenses will take advantage of their new-found freedom to get to summer jobs, pick up their friends or just cruise around town. However, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day - traditionally known as "summer" - has a much more sobering title according to a recent report: the '100 Deadliest Days."
A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the University of Iowa finds that teenagers are more likely to get into car accidents over the summer. Perhaps not surprisingly, the study also reveals that such accidents are often caused by distractions, both from passengers and cellphones. Being a socially connected and Internet-driven generation, today's teens are much more likely to answer text messages, social media pings and phone calls while driving.
These facts have led to some sobering trends in recent years. According to the study's findings, the number of deaths in teen-related car accident increases by 16 percent in the summer, as opposed the rest of the year. Of these accidents, over 60 percent are caused by distracted driving.
How to protect your teen
Since parents cannot always be sitting in the passenger seat to instruct and guide teen drivers at every moment, they can be diligent in reminding, teaching and enforcing rules about healthy driving habits. The AAA Foundation recommends the following guidelines for parents of teen drivers:
- Turn off cellphones whenever driving
- Keep music to a reasonable volume
- Limit how many people your teen is allowed to have in the car
- Have regular conversations about the dangers of distracted driving
- Model these behaviors when you are driving
Should an accident occur
Even with all these precautions, there are no guarantees. We all know the road can be risky, even for adult drivers. If your teen was involved in an accident - either as the driver or a passenger - having experienced, supportive legal counsel on your side is invaluable. With such an ally, you can have confidence and some peace of mind knowing that a professional is looking out for your family's well-being.
Hopefully, your summer will be anything but deadly. But, if you and your teen become one of the victims of these statistics, know that at our firm, you will never be a statistic. Experienced help is only a phone call away.