100 Deadliest Days: Keeping Teen Drivers Safe This Summer

Jun 11, 2024 | Car Accidents

car with people

Summer brings sunshine, vacations, and for many teens, the freedom of the road without the supervision of their parents. But this carefree time also coincides with a period of increased danger: the 100 Deadliest Days.

What are the 100 Deadliest Days?

This term refers to the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day in the United States. During these summer months, statistics show a dramatic rise in teen driver fatalities. This increased independence, coupled with factors such as inexperience, distraction, and a tendency to engage in risky behaviors, contributes to a higher rate of accidents.

The Stats

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that teen drivers (ages 16-19) have the highest crash rate of any age group.
  • Over 7,000 teens died in crashes from 2010-2019 during the 100 Deadliest Days [source: Florida Department of Transportation.gov].
  • Distracted driving is a major factor, with 60% of teen crashes caused by it. Surprisingly, the biggest distraction isn’t phones – it’s other passengers in the car [source: We Save Lives.org].

What Parents Can Do

While these numbers are concerning, there’s positive news: parents have a significant influence on their teens’ driving habits. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Set clear expectations. Talk to your teen about safe driving practices before they get behind the wheel.
  • Set consequences. If your teen breaks a rule you’ve set, they must face a consequence. The punishment must be seen by teens as a serious consequence. Consequences could include suspending your teen’s driving privileges, limiting the hours during which they can drive, or limiting the places where they can drive.
  • Lead by example. Always wear your seatbelt and avoid distractions while driving yourself.
  • Practice with your teen. Supervise them as they gain experience, focusing on challenging situations like highway driving and nighttime conditions.
  • Set passenger limits. Studies show having multiple teen passengers increases crash risk.
  • Enforce a no-phone policy. Distracted driving is deadly, so make hands-free communication a priority.
  • Consider graduated licensing programs. These programs offer a structured approach to gaining driving experience.

Additional Resources

  • Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT): https://www.fdot.gov/agencyresources/deadliestdays
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): https://www.nhtsa.gov/
  • The National Safety Council: https://www.nsc.org/
  • The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA): https://www.ghsa.org/

By working together, we can make the 100 Deadliest Days a safe and enjoyable time for all.