When you think back on your memories of childhood summers, what do you think about? Carefree days running around with your friends? Reading a good book, cover to cover, on a hammock in the back yard? Swimming at the local swimming pool or in the late? Getting ice cream with your parents on the Fourth of July?
People often think of summers before they went to college as some of the best times of their lives. What they do not often realize, though, is that these are some of the deadliest days of the year for young drivers.
The frightening statistics
The American Automobile Association decided to gather some statistics, and they found that over 10 people pass away daily, on average, in teen car crashes. That is just from Memorial Day until the kids return to school — roughly 100 days. They studied data spanning half a decade from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
If you’re not a teen, these statistics still apply to you. The AAA was not saying that 10 teens die daily, but just that 10 people die when teen drivers are involved. If you get hit by a young driver, regardless of your age, you could become part of that statistic.
When looking at wrecks involving drivers between 16 years old and 19 years old, statistics showed that the 100 days of summer see 16 percent more fatalities than the rest of the year.
Why does this happen?
Teens are always dangerous drivers. They simply lack experience. Every year, they cause a disproportionate number of crashes as they learn how to drive. But why do the statistics get so much worse in the summer?
One reason is obvious: They’re not in school. Sitting in classrooms for seven or eight hours a day takes them off of the road and keeps people safe. With school out for the summer, they spend more time driving and that just increases the risk.
Distraction is another issue. It’s not that adults do not get distracted, but young people often drive with far more distractions. They have friends in the car, they have the music up as loud as it will go and they may start texting or checking social media while they drive.
Alcohol can also play a role. Even though they are not old enough to buy it, teenagers may wind up drinking over the summer. Not wanting to let their parents or the authorities know, will they then chance driving home, rather than calling for a ride?
Your rights after a wreck
Where you seriously injured in a wreck with a teenage driver? Did you lose a loved one during summer’s 100 deadliest days? Make sure you know all of your legal rights.