Do you have a teen driver in your home? If so, it is important for you to know why Memorial Day to Labor Day is known as the 100 Deadliest Days for teen driver accidents in the United States. Education is key to helping your teen remain safe on our roads this summer.
Over 5,000 people have died in the past five years in car crashes involving teen drivers during the 100 days from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released a study showing 60 percent of teen crashes are due to distracted driving.
How Serious Is the Problem?
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Distracted driving is defined as any activity that causes you not to focus on driving. Common examples of distracted driving including using cell phones or other handheld electronics; eating; grooming; adjusting the radio; interacting with passengers; and, focusing on things outside of the vehicle.
A teenage driver in Georgia was recently charged with a felony and three misdemeanors. She is accused of causing an accident that resulted in serious injuries, driving too fast for conditions, reckless driving, and exceeding the speed limit by 35 miles per hour or more. The 19-year old was allegedly traveling at more than 100 miles per hour and using Snapchat’s speed filter when she caused the collision. The driver of the other vehicle suffered severe brain injuries as a result of the crash.
An Example of the Worst Type of Distracted Driving for Teens
One of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving is texting while driving or using a handheld electronic device as in the above example. When you text or use an app on a handheld device, such as Snapchat, your full attention is on the device. At least one hand is off the wheel, your eyes are off the road, and your attention is on the device not on the road. This is an extremely dangerous combination that often results in catastrophic car accidents.
According to Distraction.Gov, young drivers are most likely to text and talk while driving. Drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 have the largest number of drivers who were distracted at the time of a crash. Ten percent of drivers in this age group were distracted at the time of a collision.
What Can Parents Do to Prevent Teenage Distracted Driving?
The best way to prevent crashes caused by distracted teenage drivers is education and example. You need to set a good example for your teenage driver by avoiding distractions when you are behind the wheel. Take the distraction free pledge with your teenager and watch the PSAs and videos regarding distracted driving.
As we continue into the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers, continue to talk to your teenager about safe driving habits.
Have You Been Injured in a Distracted Driving Accident?
Teen drivers are not the only drivers who cause accidents because of distracted driving. If you or your family members have been injured by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your damages.