“100 deadliest days” for teen drivers are in full swing in 2022
The “100 deadliest days” is the most dangerous time of the year for teen drivers. That’s because during the time period from Memorial Day to Labor Day, there is a sharp increase in automobile fatalities involving young and inexperienced teen drivers. Nationwide, more than 30% of deaths involving teen drivers occur during the “100 deadliest days. In 2022, summer is in full swing. So, sharpen your radar and be on full alert, concerned parents.
Overall, car crash risks increase for all age brackets in the summer due to road trips, vacations, and simply more drivers on the road. Yes, teen driver dangers exist throughout the year, but why are they more prevalent during the warmer, lazier days of summertime? Here’s a four-word answer from our safety partner AAA.
School’s out for summer!
AAA explains the dangers of “100 deadliest days”
The spike in teen driver car crashes is so significant that our partner AAA coined the term the “100 deadliest days” to describe the dangerous time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Here’s what Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Executive Director, has to say about increased teen driver dangers during the “100 Deadliest Days.”
Statistics show that teen crashes spike during the summer months because teens are out of school and on the road. The Foundation’s research found that inexperience paired with greater exposure on the road could create a deadly combination for teen drivers.
How can such a carefree, sunny season also be so deadly? Well, in winter months, teens may spend hours playing video games until their thumbs fall off. When the temperature heats up, so does their desire to get out and about. With friends in the car. And they’re not experienced drivers. It could be a recipe for disaster.
What causes dangers to rise during “100 deadliest days”?
Below are the reasons why teen drivers and summer can be a deadly combination.
More free time
Think about it for a second. During the school year, your teenager probably drives to and from school during the weekdays. He may visit a friend or two over the weekend, but the bulk of his driving is going to school.
When the last bell rings to herald in the summer break, your teen driver suddenly has a lot more time on his hands. That means he will more likely be on the road looking for fun and adventure. This added driving time during the “100 deadliest days” is the #1 reason why teen driver dangers increase during the summer.
More passengers in the car
Your teen not only has more free time in the summer, but so do all of his buddies. A single teen passenger in a car with a teen driver increases the risk for a crash by 44 percent.
In 15% of fatal summertime crashes involving a teen driver, the driver was distracted by a passenger. So, extra passengers in the car is the #2 reason why teen drivers and summer can be a deadly combination.
Teen driver inexperience
Your teen is probably comfortable driving the same route to school and back home every day. In the summer, he may want to drive to the amusement or water park. He’s not a bad driver at all, just an inexperienced one. That inexperience means he’s not always equipped to handle risks as well as older drivers.
So, while your teen driver may be tempted to hop on one of the major highways in Atlanta, it might not be the best decision if he doesn’t have much Interstate driving experience.
How can parents reduce risks during “100 deadliest days”?
The facts are in. Teen drivers and summer don’t always mix well. So, what can YOU, the concerned parent, do to help keep your teen safe? Below are a few tips from Drive Smart Georgia.
Practice those driving skills
Your teen might have her license, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to hop on I-85, I-285 or I-75 quite yet. Take a few practice trips with your teen on some of Atlanta’s busiest highways so that she can gain more experience and confidence before making a solo journey during the “100 deadliest days.”
Limit nighttime driving
The fatal crash rate for teens doubles at night. At nightfall, ordinary risks are magnified by the darkness. In Georgia, a new teen driver must have at least six hours of night driving experience before getting a driver’s license. After they have it, the state imposes a 12 midnight – 5 am curfew on drivers ages 16-17.
Follow Joshua’s Law
Joshua’s Law was passed in the state of Georgia in 2005 to help keep teen drivers safer on the road, despite a multitude of new and ever-present dangers.
So, exactly what is Joshua’s Law? What are its restrictions for teen drivers? Be sure to check out this in-depth article about the all-important law in Georgia and 16 other states. Make sure your teen driver follows it to the T, especially during the “100 deadliest days.”
Avoid all distractions
While texting and talking on a cell phone are certainly driving distractions, there are many more to avoid. Eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, finding a radio station, or using a navigation system all cause the driver to take his eyes off the road.
Make sure your new teen driver knows about ALL driver distractions and the possible consequences.
Set a good example
If you don’t want your teen driver to speed, then don’t do it yourself. Your new driver is still watching everything YOU do, so set a good example by putting the phone in the glove box and obeying all traffic laws.
You might not think your teen watches and listens, but he does. He really does. Setting a good example is extremely important during the “100 deadliest days.”
Sign a teen driver-parent driving agreement
During the “100 deadliest days,” it’s important to address issues like nighttime driving and the number of passengers allowed in the car. Setting up driving rules and consequences not only drives safety home, but a signed contract can also add to your own peace of mind. Check out this Teen-Parent Driver Agreement from AAA.
The violations and consequences are entirely up to you. It’s important to get buy-in from your new driver. This can go a long way to ensure a safe, stress-free summer of 2022 for new teen drivers and their concerned parents – LIKE YOU!
Monitor your teen driver
Stay engaged with your teen’s driving habits. A National Safety Commission survey found many parents are more inclined to loosen household driving rules during the “100 deadliest days” in the summertime.
Don’t be that parent.
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CLICK HERE to read more Drive Smart Georgia blog posts.
- What to expect during Driver’s Ed classes at Drive Smart Georgia
- In-car driving lessons prepare teen drivers to hit the road safely
- Advice for nervous parents of new teen drivers
- What is Joshua’s Law? A guide for parents to limit teen driver dangers