Warning! 100 deadliest days of summer for teens & all drivers

peopleinjuredTwo safety-oriented groups are warning that the next 100 days are deadliest days of summer on the road. Research from the National Safety Council shows an increase in traffic fatalities this year. AAA research shows how teen drivers affect collisions. Both organizations offer suggestions to improve safety and driving, especially for teens and parents. Using and learning about connected car safety features is one way to help prevent collisions.

Traffic deaths in the U.S. have increased every month for the past six months compared with the same months in 2014. The National Safety Council warns that drivers should be careful heading into summer a period known as the “100 Deadliest Days.” The most risky driving period begins Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day, when teen crash fatalities historically climb reports the Automobile club. AAA research also found that almost two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel.

While the overall number of teen crashes are down,  the majority of people killed (66%) and injured (67%) in crashes involving a teen driver are people other than the teen themselves.Teenage drivers have higher rates of crashes per driver and per mile driven than any drivers of any other age group.

In 2013, an average of 220 teen drivers and passengers died in traffic crashes during each of the summer months, a 43 percent increase compared to the rest of the year.

The National Safety Council believes the spike in fatal car crashes, this year is due in part to an improving economy. Lower gas prices and lower unemployment rates often lead to an increase in traffic because more people can afford to drive, and many travel long distances and take vacations.
The Council also warns that certain crash factors, such as speeding and alcohol, are more common during the summer, too. A yearly average of 2,781 deaths in June, July and August involve speeding, and 2,846 involve alcohol.
AAA is promoting its teen study findings to raise attention among parents of teen drivers and all road users particularly during the “100 Deadliest Days” period.
To help stay safe on the roads this summer, here are some recommendations:
  • Make sure every passenger buckles up every trip.
  • Designate an alcohol and drug-free driver or arranging alternate transportation.
  • Getting plenty of sleep and taking regular breaks to avoid fatigue on long trips.
  • The Safety Council suggests that drivers never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free.
  • Parents should stay engaged with teens’ driving habits. An NSC survey found many parents are more inclined to loosen household driving rules during the summer.
  • Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them.
  • Resources for parents and teens are at AAA’s award-winning website TeenDriving.AAA.com.
  • Parents have found the online AAA StartSmart program to be particularly useful, helping them to quickly become effective in-car coaches, make informed decisions about access to a vehicle, and manage their teen’s overall driving privileges.

When teens are on summer vacation, more teens will be on the road, please exercise caution.