Summer is often a time of favorite memories and lazy days for young adults, and many people look back on their teenage summers happily later in life. It’s a time of freedom, socialization and exploration for many teenagers, especially after they get their driver’s licenses.
However, the unfortunate truth is that for a noticeable minority of young adults, the summer months will have a far more tragic outcome. Safety experts around the country, including right here in Louisiana, warn parents and teen drivers alike each year about the impending threat of the 100 deadliest days during the summer months. What exactly is the point of issuing that warning?
Teen traffic deaths spike during the summer
The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day see a significant percentage of the annual teen traffic deaths that occur each year. The unfortunate truth is that the summer months are a very dangerous time for young adults because they lack the structure of the school year, which keeps them off the roads. Teen drivers may take to the road to visit friends or may drive with no destination just for the freedom. Many teens are also likely to attend at least a few summertime parties, some of which may feature alcohol. Teen passengers, distraction and impairment are all among the top causes of fatal collisions involving teen drivers in the summer.
How awareness benefits younger drivers
Youthful motorists may not worry very much about the risk involved in driving during the summer, but their parents may intervene for their safety when they become aware of the possible risk. Parents can implement better rules for summertime driving, including a curfew and zero-tolerance policies for driving home after drinking or texting at the wheel. They can also help teach their young adults better safety practices, like knowing when to call for a ride, to reduce their long-term risk of a serious car crash.
For many families, learning ahead of time about the increased risk during the summer could prompt the right actions on the part of parents and might potentially save someone’s life. Learning more about when and why people have higher crash risk can protect drivers of all ages and the people that worry about them.