What Are the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer?
Summertime means school’s out – and teenagers get a few months of freedom and fun with their friends. Unfortunately, summer vacation also marks the beginning of the most dangerous time of the year for teen drivers: the 100 deadliest days of summer. Learn what you can do as the parent of a teen driver in Alabama to help keep your child safe this summer.
Car Accident Risks Increase for Teens in Summertime
Teenage drivers are already at an increased risk of car accidents in general compared to older, more experienced drivers. Teen drivers don’t have the hands-on experience to safely control their cars and avoid accidents. In addition, young drivers are more susceptible to dangerous driver behaviors, such as distracted driving, texting and driving, speeding, and drinking and driving.
The risk of a teen dying in a fatal auto accident increases even more during a certain time of the year, however: the 100 days between Memorial Day (May 30, 2022) and Labor Day (September 5, 2022). This is known as the “100 deadliest days of summer” because the number of fatal teen car accidents consistently and dramatically increases in these 100 days each year.
In 2020, the months between May and September reported the highest number of teenage motor vehicle crash deaths of the year. June, July and August tied for the highest percentage of total teen crash deaths (10 percent each). The deadliest month was August, with 285 teen deaths reported. The least deadly month was March, with 166 teen crash deaths (6 percent of the total).
Why Is Summer Deadly for Teen Drivers?
Reducing the number of fatal car accidents that involve teenagers each summer starts by being aware of the most common causes of these deadly collisions. Several factors contribute to the increase in crashes in the 100 deadliest days of summer, including:
- School’s out – students are more likely to celebrate with drinking, late-night partying and road-tripping with friends.
- Crowded cars and summertime events can increase the risk of passenger-related driver distractions.
- Teenagers use their cell phones more often than adults to text, use social media, take pictures and engage in other distracting activities behind the wheel.
- Teens are less skilled, experienced and mature than older drivers. They are more likely to make reckless and dangerous driving decisions, such as speeding and driving under the influence.
Summer means fewer responsibilities for teens in Alabama, and often more time spent relaxing with friends. Unfortunately, this can lead to bad decision-making by teen drivers and a lot of distractions behind the wheel.
How You Can Keep Your Teen Driver Safe This Summer
If you have a teen driver in your home this summer, spread awareness about the 100 deadliest days of summer. Explain that car accidents can happen anywhere, at any time – when your teen least expects it. Impress upon your teen the importance of safe driving and obeying traffic laws, including speed limits and distracted driving rules. Tell your teen to always buckle up, as wearing a seat belt could mean the difference between life and death in a car accident.
If your teen has a lot of friends that ask for rides, consider setting a limit on the number of passengers in the vehicle at a time. Driver distraction is one of the top causes of fatal teen accidents. Passengers in the car can distract the driver by chatting, horseplaying, encouraging reckless driving or using their cell phones. If your teenage driver wants to celebrate summer with a road trip, offer to drive them yourself. Finally, teach by example. Practice safe driving behaviors yourself and your teen will follow your lead.
If your teen gets involved in a car accident in the 100 deadliest days of summer, contact our Birmingham car accident attorneys today.