Summer Means More Teen Driver Crashes

School is formally out, and that means more teenage drivers on the road. This increase in inexperienced drivers could also make the roads less safe overall and even lead to an increase in car accidents caused by teenage drivers.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety calls the period between Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September the “100 Deadliest Days.” Crashes involving teen drivers “increase significantly during the summer because teens are out of school and driving more.” Across the United States, over 8,300 people died in crashes involving teen drivers during this 100-day time period between the years of 2008 to 2018.

Unfortunately, those who are injured as a result of this summertime increase are not limited to negligent or reckless teen drivers. AAA Foundation research found that nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel. As the summer gets going, now is a critically important time to speak with teenage drivers and passengers about these trends and how to avoid joining the statistics of teenagers and young adults injured in crashes caused by teen drivers.

In its May 27, 2020 news release, the AAA Foundation says new crash data from 2008-2019 reveals major factors contributing to fatal teen crashes during the summer driving period include:

  • Driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street (47 percent)
  • Driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway (40 percent)
  • Texting (35 percent)
  • Red-light running (32 percent)
  • Aggressive driving (31 percent)
  • Drowsy driving (25 percent)
  • Driving without a seatbelt (17 percent

Over the past five years, according to the AAA Foundation:

  • During the 100 Deadliest Days each year, an average of almost 700 people died in crashes involving teen drivers.
  • The average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers ages 15-18 during the summer was 17 percent higher per day compared to other days of the year.

According to additional AAA Foundation research:

  • Speeding: Half of teen drivers (49.7 percent) reported speeding on a residential street in the prior 30 days and nearly 40 percent said they speed on the freeway.
  • Drinking and Driving: One in six teen drivers (16.6 percent) involved in fatal crashes during the summer tested positive for alcohol.

Teen Drivers at Greater Risk of Car Accidents Year-Round

Unfortunately, general teen driving statistics are just as disturbing at the AAA Foundation’s findings about summer driving.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Per mile driven, teen drivers age 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers age 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.

Crash risk is particularly high during the first months’ a teenager has a driver’s license. And the presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. Another AAA Foundation study says a single teen passenger increases a teen driver’s crash risk by’44 percent. The risk only gets worse as the number of teen passengers increases.

Distracted Driving: More than half of teen drivers (52 percent) reported reading a text message or email while driving in the prior 30 days and nearly 40 percent reported sending a text or email.’ Additionally, in-vehicle dash-cams of teen driver crashes found distraction was involved in 58 percent of teen crashes, approximately four times as many as federal estimates.

According to the CDC:

  • Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the rear of the next).
  • At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for older drivers. In 2016, 15 percent of drivers aged 16 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had a BAC of .08 percent or higher.
  • In 2017, 9 percent of all teen motor vehicle crash deaths involved distracted driving.
  • Compared with other age groups, teens have some of the lowest rates of seat belt use. In 2017, only 59 percent of high school students reported they always wear seat belts when riding as passengers.

Talk to a South Florida Accident Attorney About a Teen’s Crash

Getting a driver’s license and driving on your own is a rite of passage into adulthood that all teens look forward to. But with privilege comes responsibility. Teen drivers must learn safe driving techniques or face the consequences, just like adults.

If you or your teen have been seriously injured in an accident caused by a teenage driver who may have been negligent or reckless, talk to Robes Law Group about holding them responsible. We may be able to help you obtain compensation through their (or their parents’) auto insurance for your injuries and other losses. Call us today at 561-570-570.

The information contained in this blog is merely for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice.