The “100 Deadliest Days” is when fatal teen crashes are at their highest. The period is between Memorial Day and Labor Day in Maryland. The summer period had over 7,000 teen-related accident fatalities between 2010 and 2019. Teenagers have higher fatal crash rates because of immaturity and a lack of skills and experience. Teens wear seatbelts less often and speed more often. They can get distracted easier with friends in the car. Parents have more options to influence their teens than they might think.
What can parents do?
Parents can talk to their teens about the rules and responsibilities when driving. Explain to teens that they have a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents from distracted driving. Texts and phone calls can wait until after they arrive at their destination. Talk about any teen restrictions for nighttime driving and passenger numbers. Setting family rules and punishments for distracted driving is a good way to teach teenagers. Parents can set limits on hours able to drive or passengers. Set an example for teens by showing them how to focus on driving without distractions.
Facts about teenage drivers
Teenager drivers had 955,913 motor vehicle accidents, 4,000 fatalities and 359,268 serious injuries in 2018. Teens with passengers were two-and-a-half times more likely to engage in risky behavior than driving alone. Teen drivers with multiple passengers are three times more likely to engage in risky behavior. Friday was the deadliest day for teen drivers. One-third of the victims of fatal or serious accidents weren’t wearing seatbelts.
Some tips can keep teen drivers safe, and the first is to eliminate distractions. Pull over to a safe place when returning a text or phone call. Obey speed limits because speed factors into 33% of all fatal accidents. Never drive impaired and always pay attention to your surroundings. A driver’s eyes off the road for a second can cause a fatal outcome. Drugs and alcohol can alter a driver’s ability to react and pay attention. Curfew restrictions for drivers between 16 and 17 can help teens gain experience before nighttime driving.