Watch Out for the 100 Deadliest Days
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, we Arizonans come upon a period of time known as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” So called because of the sharp increase in accidents across the United States, this rise in fatal motor vehicle statistics is closely tied to younger drivers.
Around 260 teens are killed on the road each month of the 100 Deadliest Days, and The Husband and Wife Law Team would like to end this epidemic. So, let’s dive into the facts and see what we can do as individuals and a community to prevent serious collisions.
Danger by the Numbers
If you have teenage children (as Mark and Alexis Breyer do), here are some things you should know, courtesy of WeSaveLives.org:
- Teens have the highest crash rate of any group in the United States, and 60% of these crashes are thought to be caused by distracted driving.
- The two top distractions for teens are passengers, which cause 15% of teen driver accidents, and texting or talking on cell phones, which cause 12% of accidents.
- In summer months, car-related deaths for teens rise 26%. Car accidents are actually the number one cause of death for American teens.
- Teens aren’t the only ones at risk when they crash. More than 1,050 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver in 2016 during the 100 Deadliest Days – a 14% increase compared to the rest of the year. (AAA Newsroom)
“Not only are teens themselves more likely to die in car crashes, they also have the highest rates of crash involvement resulting in the deaths of others, including passengers, pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles.” – Newsday
What Is Causing These Accidents?
AAA blames two culprits for most of these fatalities, in addition to distractions: nighttime driving and speeding. In fact, distractions make these two situations even more difficult. Let’s see why:
- Night driving: 36% of Deadliest Days crashes in a recent year occurred after 5 p.m. For 16- to 19-year-old drivers who are fresh out of high school for the summer, driving at night poses a special challenge. There is worse visibility, and they are not as familiar with the streets they’re traveling on. Many parties and social events take place in the evening, leaving the young driver to find his or her way home on crowded streets with unfamiliar traffic signals and signage. Plus, the teen is new to the act of driving itself, and she may not know how to react to dangerous situations that aren’t her fault at all, causing a collision that may have otherwise been prevented.
- Speeding: 29% of teen deaths during the Deadliest Days were speed-related. Again, some speeding may be due to a teen driver’s inexperience with a car’s acceleration and braking, and some speeding may be due to his or her unfamiliarity with local roads and speed limits. But a lot of the time, teens may speed because they enjoy the freedom of going fast, are impatient, or are in a hurry to get somewhere. Unfortunately, going fast increases a car’s momentum, and increases the odds of a fatality in a crash: the faster you are going, the more likely you are to be killed or suffer catastrophic injuries when the car makes impact.
How Can We Prevent Teen Driver Accidents?
The best way to fight against teen driver accidents, besides being careful while you’re traveling to work, to visit family, or to run errands, is to talk to your children. Share the risks with your driving-age children, but also with your younger children. Teach them early on the risks associated with distracted driving, and discourage them from carrying passengers their own age until you believe they’re ready. In fact, the State of Arizona does not allow drivers under the age of 18 to drive a motor vehicle containing more than one passenger under the age of 18, unless it’s a sibling or a licensed adult is in the car with them.
Talk to your teens, listen to their concerns, and if you ever are involved in an accident that causes injury, consult with a Phoenix car accident lawyer. Breyer Law Offices, P.C., has handled thousands of personal injury cases in the Phoenix area since 1996, and we offer a free consultation at (602) 267-1280.
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer