Memorial Day initiates a 100-day period that is consistently the most lethal time for teen drivers. According to data from the NHTSA, the summer months of 2016 saw the deaths of over 800 young people between the ages of 15 and 20—each of them killed in automobile accidents. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers.
Because summer leisure time puts more teenagers on the road, a rise in fatal car accidents is all but guaranteed.
Summer Means More Teens Driving at More Hours of the Day
With school out for the summer, teen drivers have more time at their discretion, often spending it testing out their newly-acquired freedom. Summer months bring longer days with more time to fill—or, for teens who work, longer commutes. Without obligations in the morning, teenagers are also more likely to drive during the most lethal hours of the day: between midnight and 6 AM.
Driving with passengers is also a major risk for teen drivers, increasing the risk of an accident by 44 percent. In fact, anyone who drives with passengers is more likely to be distracted while driving. Multiply that distraction by the inexperience of a new driver, and you have a recipe for disaster. Many states have laws that limit the number of passengers a teen driver may have in the vehicle.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Teen Driver This Summer?
As Memorial Day and summer gets closer, there are steps you can take now to protect your teen driver. One of the best ways to protect your teen is to participate in the Parent's Supervised Driving Program and take each lesson seriously. The program provides a plan for teaching your teen driver how to be safe behind the wheel. Detailed lessons and other resources help you teach your child everything he or she needs to know to reduce the risk of an accident.
Resources you can use to help teach your teen driver safe driving skills include:
Studies have shown that the risk of a crash decreases with good driving experience. Spend time with your teen driver reviewing each lesson and practicing safe driving skills—this will protect your child and others on the road. Try to spend as much time as possible in the car with your teen driver, correcting mistakes as you see them happen.
Gradually increase the variety of driving conditions so that your teen driver gains experience driving at night, in adverse weather conditions, and in unfamiliar locations. Exposing your teen driver to a variety of driving conditions and situations will give him or her more experience and the knowledge of how to handle problems if they arise.
Listen to words of this adage: "Begin as you mean to go on." The earlier your children adopt safe driving habits, the safer their driving will be for the rest of their lives.
Do not harshly criticize your teen driver for making a driving mistake. It's vital to learn how to provide gentle correction—not shame. You know best how to communicate with your child, but keep in mind: we were all first-time drivers at one point.
Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney?
If your teen has been involved in a car accident, schedule a free consultation to speak with an experienced Pennsylvania car accident attorney at our firm. Call (888) 498-3023 or fill out a form to schedule your free case review—one conversation can give you answers about what you can do next. Don't let yourself stay in the dark.
The attorneys of Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC want to help you protect your teen driver's future, especially if another driver caused their injuries. Contact us to schedule your free consultation with an experienced PA car accident attorney to discuss your legal rights to compensation.