New teenage drivers can get into severe and sometimes deadly car wrecks. Multiple factors influence a teenager’s likeliness to get hurt in a wreck. The general lack of experience that someone has in their first few years of driving is a concern. So too is the constant pull of technology and the risk of distracted driving. Chemical impairment can also be a concern.
Collisions can happen at any time, including in February when your child is on the way to school in the morning. However, crash statistics show that the summer is the deadliest time for teen drivers.
What makes the summer so dangerous?
There are two issues that directly contribute to the number of teenage traffic deaths that occur in the summer. The first is the fact that young adults are not typically in school during the summer. That means eight more hours during the day when they can be out on the road in their vehicles. While many teenagers may just drive back and forth to work or to occasionally visit with friends, others may be much more social, which is a contributing factor to many fatal teen crashes.
Alcohol consumption among teens tends to increase during the summer, as children not in school can host parties any day of the week with fewer repercussions. According to an analysis of crash data between 2010 and 2019, at least 7,000 people died in collisions caused by teenagers in the summer during that time.
Some researchers refer to the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “100 deadliest days” for teen drivers. During those 100 days, young adults at the wheel are more than three times as likely as they usually are to die in a fatal crash.
How can this information help you?
If you don’t have a youthful driver at home, awareness of the higher density of teen drivers on the road and the greater likelihood of encountering an impaired underage driver might help you avoid dangerous drivers in traffic. If you have a young adult in your household, this information could help you teach them better driving safety rules and give you a reasonable explanation for limitations on when and where they drive.
Learning more about the causes of major car crashes can help people reduce their chance of getting into a wreck themselves.