Most teens in California spend years looking forward to that big moment when they can get their license and drive. Whether they get to borrow mom’s car or get a car of their own, the freedom of the road is something they look forward to. Teens naturally are most excited about this freedom during the summer, when they have a lot of free time on their hands and there are more social events they can attend.
Because summer introduces more teen drivers than usual to the roads, Forbes and other publications call the summer time America’s 100 Deadliest Days. Teens have a much higher likelihood than other drivers of being involved in a crash. In addition to this, when teens are involved in motor vehicle accidents, two-thirds of the 700 people who are killed or injured are other people, not the teen that was driving. Deaths involving teen drivers also spike by about 17% throughout the summer.
There are a lot of reasons that contribute to teens being one of the most vulnerable drivers on the road. They are more easily distracted, more susceptible to peer pressure and lack the experience of older drivers. Thus, even when they are not at fault, they may not know how best to react in dangerous situations. Some of the most common problems among teen drivers include speeding, distraction and driving under the influence. In fact, when tested for alcohol after a crash, one in six teens yielded positive results.
ABC News singles out distracted driving as the biggest problem of all. The news agency also notes that between 2013 and 2017, teen drivers were responsible for 3,500 deaths. More than half of teenage drivers admit to reading emails and text messages while operating a vehicle. Another 40% confessed to responding to these messages.
Nationwide, local authorities are encouraging parents to better educate their teens about the dangers of driving intoxicated and distracted. However, even adults should spread the word about the 100 Deadliest Days of summer and watch out for teen drivers on the road.