Did you know the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the 100 deadliest days of summer? The time period has been given this name because of the significant increase in fatal crashes. From 2016-2019, the number of crashes during this time was declining. However, during these 100 days in 2020, the number increased by more than one-third with 452 crashes killing 478 people. Even though these 100 days only represent 27 percent of the calendar year, they account for more than one third of all fatal traffic crashes and deaths.
Speeding and driving while impaired are two significant contributors to these dangerous accidents. In Ohio, these 100 days also represent the ideal motorcycle riding months. In 2020, 60 percent of all motorcycle-involved crashes and 28 percent of motorcycle fatalities occurred during this time frame.
Teenage Driving Accidents
During these 100 days, it is important to talk to teens about safe driving practices. According to AAA, this time is especially risky for teenagers with “drivers ages 16-17 years old three times more likely to be involved in deadly crashes than adults”. On average, in Ohio, 23 teenagers are killed in crashes during this time each year. Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research stated, “there are more daily deaths in crashes involving teen drivers during the summer months than the rest of the year because teens tend to have more unstructured time behind the wheel”.
AAA driving instructors advise these are the most common mistakes made by teen drivers:
- Failure to yield
- Poor visual scanning
AAA encourages parents to:
- Teach by example
- Talk frequently about risky behavior behind the wheel with new drivers
- Practice driving with teens including at night
- Establish a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules
Ohio police and patrol encourage the discussion of:
- Reckless driving
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Seat belt use
- Teen passengers
- Driver inexperience
- Nighttime driving
- Drowsy driving
After Covid-19 delayed many teenagers from obtaining their driver’s licenses, there has been an influx of new young drivers. Summertime in Cleveland is referred to as the deadliest 100 days due to teenagers being off from school and on the roads. According to AAA, approximately 1,719 young drivers died and an estimated 199,000 were injured in car accidents in 2018. It is important to learn the common causes of teen automobile crashes and how to avoid them.
Common Causes of Teen Automobile Crashes
There are many different scenarios that could result in an automobile crash. For teenagers across the US, crashes are often caused by the following:
- Distracted driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Reckless driving
- Inexperienced driving
There are many things that could distract a driver on the road, such as texting, adjusting climate control, eating, or putting makeup on. Many teens send texts or emails while driving, putting them at greater risk of crashing.
New drivers may be unable to detect and respond to hazards as quickly as experienced drivers. In the United States, 35 percent of speeding crashes involve a teen driver.
Preventing Teen Automobile Crashes
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that parents remind their teens of several rules before getting behind the wheel. These prevention tips, called the “5 to Drive” rules, are as follows:
- No cell phones while driving
- No extra passengers
- No speeding
- No alcohol
- No driving or riding without a seat belt
These easy rules will help your teen stay safe on the roads, as well as protect you and your family against legal ramifications in the event of an accident.
Tips for Parents and Their Teenage Drivers
If you are the parent of a teen who is learning to drive or already has a driver’s license, there are many things to consider. You want your children to be autonomous, but you also recognize that they need rules and procedures to keep them safe on the road. So, what can a parent of teen drivers do to ensure their children remain safe behind the wheel? Our firm has several tips for parents and their teenage drivers to prevent accidents and promote safe driving.
Establish Ground Rules
State law now governs when teens are allowed to drive and who may accompany them in the vehicle. When a teenager gets their driver’s license, a parent may want to add additional rules. It is important to discuss these rules and communicate them to your child both before and after they begin driving. Setting rules for acceptable driving hours and routes can help keep your child safe behind the wheel, especially as a new driver.
GPS and Hands-Free Kit for the Car
Many teenagers are addicted to using their phones. However, cell phones can be a dangerous and potentially illegal distraction while driving. If your teen needs to use a phone while driving, install a hands-free kit in the vehicle to make mobile phone use safer. A GPS in the automobile also assures that your adolescent driver never gets lost while driving.
Payment for Gas and Auto Insurance for Your Child
Your young driver may not yet be able to pay for a car on their own. However, if your teen uses the car, it is a good idea to have them contribute to the cost. Speak with your child about filling the gas tank after use and the costs of additional insurance fees for a new driver. This is a great way to teach your child responsibility and accountability. Young people crave independence, but as a parent, you must ensure that they balance autonomy with responsibility and ownership.
Safety Tips for Driving this Summer
The Ohio State Highway Patrol reminds motorists to drive buckled, focused, and sober. Patrol superintendent, Colonel Richard S. Fambro, advises people to “protect yourself and others on the road by committing to safe driving habits such as driving sober, obeying the speed limit and not driving distracted. The safety of everyone using our roads is our primary concern.” You can help keep roads safe by calling #677 to report dangerous or impaired driving and drug activity.
If you or a loved one are involved in a serious or fatal traffic crash, our experienced attorneys can help. Contact our Cleveland car accident lawyers today for a free consultation. Our dedicated team can help answer your questions and guide you through next steps.