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Car accidents involving teen drivers tend to increase significantly during the summer resulting in more deaths than any other time of the year, according to an AAA Foundation study. The period after Memorial Day marks the 100 deadliest days for teenage drivers, the report states. Why does this happen? Experts say that with school out for the summer, more teens get behind the wheel and pose threats to themselves and others by engaging in risky driving behavior.
According to the study, car accidents involving teens aged 16 to 19 significantly increase during the summer season because more teens are getting behind the wheel boosting the number of fatal crashes by 16 percent compared to other times of the year. Just in the last five years, more than 5,000 people died in car accidents involving teens during the 100 days after Memorial Day. This is certainly a worrying statistic.
Distractions While Driving
To add to this problem, the number of teens texting and using social media while driving is also on the rise, according to the AAA report. On average, 10 people die during the summer as the result of car crashes involving teen drivers. Distraction is the leading cause of these crashes involving teens. Also, during the summer, teens tend to drive more for recreational purposes and travel with their friends in the vehicle, which often causes added distraction.
In fact, experts say this is one of the biggest risks for teens, more so than texting. Statistics show that talking or tending to other passengers causes 15 percent of accidents involving teens. Talking, texting or using a cell phone accounted for 12 percent of crashes involving teens while looking at something in the vehicle led to 11 percent of car crashes involving teen drivers.
Tips for Teen Driver Safety
Here are a few tips to keep your teen driver safe this summer:
Select the right car. A vehicle such as an SUV or pickup truck may be a bad choice for your new driver because they behave differently on the road than coupes and sedans. A teen driver may lack the skills to cope with evasive maneuvers in a big truck or SUV.
Teach your teen about car maintenance. They should know how to check tire pressure and fluids and know how to inspect for all fluids like window washing fluid, coolant, oil, transmission fluid, brake and power steering fluid.
Seatbelts save lives. Statistics show that auto accidents are the number one cause of death in the U.S. among people aged 5 to 34. One of the main reasons for these fatalities is failure to wear a seatbelt. It is a fact that seatbelts save lives. Any driver, regardless of age, should be buckled up.
Discourage distracted driving. Teens should be strongly instructed not to use cell phones while driving or drive with multiple passengers.