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Risks Your Teen Driver Faces During the 100 Deadliest Days

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Risks Your Teen Driver Faces During the 100 Deadliest Days

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The time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is often referred to as the “100 Deadliest Days” for drivers. During this period of time, the risk of a driver getting into a fatal car accident is elevated. In the past five years, nearly 3,500 people were killed in car accidents involving teenage drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days.

There are a variety of causes of this elevated rate of deadly accidents:

Speeding (28 percent)

Speeding is one factor that can dramatically increase the severity of car accidents, and studies show that this reckless behavior is on the rise among teenage drivers. AAA’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index shows that almost half of all teen drivers surveyed reported speeding on residential roads within the last 30 days. Around 40 percent said that they sped on highways in the same time period. This is not strictly a teen issue (think about it - when was the last time you went over the speed limit? This morning on your way to work?) but given that teen drivers are often still learning the rules of the road, they are more likely to make reckless decisions like speeding.

Alcohol use (17 percent)

Despite the age for alcohol purchasing and consumption being set at 21, underage drinking is a huge problem across the United States. In fatal summer car accidents, one in six teen drivers tested positive for alcohol.

Distracted driving (9 percent)

In the age of the smartphone, distracted driving is more prevalent than ever before. According to AAA’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, more than half of teen drivers reported reading a text message or email while driving in the last 30 days, and almost 40 percent said they sent a text or email. It is likely that this issue is underreported.

Talk to your teenager about their driving habits early and often. Explain to them the dangers they face behind the wheel. Teach by example. Make and enforce a driving agreement. And if your teen does find themselves involved in a car accident, speak to an attorney.

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