Memorial Day kicks off what is known as the 100 deadliest days for teenage drivers. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, more teenagers are killed in car accidents than at any other time of the year. In fact, according to AAA, more than 7,300 teenage drivers were killed in car accidents between 2005 and 2009. On average, 260 teenagers are killed in car crashes each month during the summer. This means that, during the warm summer months, teenagers are 26% more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident.
Not only are teenagers more likely to be killed in a car accident during these 100 days, they are also more likely to be injured in car accidents. Why? During the summer months, most teenagers are off from school. This increase in freedom means extra time behind the wheel of the car, and more time on the road with friends. They are also more likely to consume alcoholic beverages during the summer months, increasing their chances of being involved in a drunk driving accident.
Top Ten Deadly Teen Driving Mistakes – Pennsylvania Auto Accidents
According to AAA, the top ten deadly driving mistakes are:
- Taking unnecessary risks
- Not buckling their seatbelts
- Driving with rowdy passengers
- Cellphone use
- Messing with music
- Late night cruising
- Drunk driving
- Peer pressure
It Can Wait – Texting and Driving – Against the Law in PA & NJ
AT&T conducted a study in 2012 on the dangers of distracted driving. According to the study, while 97% of teenage drivers knew that texting and driving was dangerous, 43% continued to text and drive. Even more shocking, 41% of teenage drivers have seen their own parents text and drive, even though their parents warned them of the dangers.
Riding with Friends Increases Risks
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study that analyzed teenage drivers and the distractions they encountered. Surprisingly, they found that passengers and friends provided the most distractions for teen drivers – and subsequently increased their risk of getting into a serious car accident. 15% of all teen accidents were caused by passenger distraction. Comparatively, 12% of all teen car accidents were caused by cellphone use.
Inexperience is a Real Danger | Automobile Accidents
Not only do teenagers engage in risky behavior, like speeding or texting while driving, they are also inexperienced behind the wheel. This inexperience significantly increases their chances of being involved in a fatal car accident. According to a national study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, nearly half of the car crashes involving teen drivers were caused by driver errors. When you combine this inexperience with driver distractions and unruly passengers, the results can be catastrophic.
How Can You Keep Your Teenager Safe This Summer?
If you have a teenage driver in your family, there are ways you can keep them safe this summer.
- Talk to them about risks: Teenagers who are informed of the risks are more likely to avoid them. Discuss the risks of distracted driving, not wearing seatbelts, and drinking and driving.
- Provide them with solutions: Teenagers are not always skilled at thinking through problems when they occur. Offering them solutions to common driving issues can mitigate their lack of “real world” experience. Need some ideas? Give them the name and number of a cab company to call if they find themselves out with a friend who has been drinking. Help them find a tactful solution for when friends get out of hand while they are driving. Offer to pick them up if they are going to be out late. Suggest that they download the “Uber” application for their smart phone.
- There’s an App for that: Numerous apps on the market can help your teen avoid using their cellphone while driving. AT&T developed an app called AT&T Drive Mode that silences text messages and incoming phone calls when the car detects that the phone is in a moving vehicle.
- Set a good example: Make a pledge not to text and drive so that you can set a good example for your teenager. Believe it or not, they are watching what you do.
- Stay Informed: You can visit AAA Keys2Drive program to get more tips and tools on how to keep your teens safe this summer. There are even driving- specific tips for Pennsylvania families.
Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, it is important to review all of your legal options. At McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., our experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers can answer all of your questions and help you choose the legal pathway that is best for you and your family.
The Philadelphia car accident attorneys at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., have more than 68 years of experience representing injured accident victims and their families across Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Dauphin, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Montgomery, and Northampton counties.
We area also proud to serve injured accident victims throughout the State of New Jersey. Contact us today at 215-568-1510 or fill out our confidential contact form to learn more about your legal options.