As a student from Wyoming, I understand the challenges that drivers face on rural roads, long stretches of poorly lit roadways, and unpredictable weather conditions. Summer is the time students everywhere look forward to, but it is also known as the deadliest season for teen drivers. According to the National Safety Council, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, also known as the "100 Deadliest Days," is the most dangerous time of year for teen drivers. In this blog, we will discuss the top risks faced by teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days and how teens and parents can create safe and enjoyable summer.
1. Distracted Driving:
One of the leading causes of crashes during the summer months is distracted driving. Texting, talking on the phone, eating, and adjusting the radio are just a few examples of distracted driving. To avoid distracted driving, all drivers should keep their phones on silent, and if they must make a call or send a text, they should pull over to a safe location.
Speeding is a cause of crashes among teen drivers. As inexperienced drivers, we often overestimate our abilities and underestimate the risks associated with speeding. Parents can help encourage teens to follow the speed limit and set a good example by obeying the speed limits themselves.
3. Impaired Driving:
Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense, and the risks increase during the summer months. Teenagers should avoid driving while intoxicated or riding with intoxicated drivers. Instead, everyone, young and old, should have a sober driver, call a friend or family member to drive them home if their safety is jeopardized.
4. Seat Belts:
Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce the risk of injury in a crash. Parents should encourage their teens to always wear their seat belts and set a good example by wearing their own.
Teen drivers are more likely to be involved in a crash when they have passengers in the car. The crash risk increases as the number of passengers increases. To help reduce the risk of teen crashes, parents and teens should work together to limit the number of passengers their teens can have in the car.
6. Nighttime Driving:
Nighttime driving can be challenging for even the most experienced drivers. For teenagers, our risks are even greater. Together parents and teens should set a curfew for their teens and limit nighttime driving to essential trips.
Inexperience is a significant cause of crashes involving teen drivers. Parents can help their teens gain experience by increasing their practice driving as often as possible in the most challenging conditions and environments.
In conclusion, the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer can be a dangerous time for teen drivers. Parents and teens can take small but significant steps to stay safe on the road. One step you can take is downloading and utilizing the NRSF Passport to Safe Driving! This is a great resource for parents and teens to open the door to important conversations about essential driving skills. You can also consider joining SADD for the 2023 Summer Conference Series, a virtual event focused on celebrating youth health and safety all summer long. Learn more and register for free below!
By encouraging safe driving practices, setting a good example, and limiting risk factors, parents can help ensure their teens have a safe and enjoyable summer. Safe driving is not just about following the rules of the road; it is about being aware of the risks and working together to reduce them.
Wyoming SADD Student
SADD National Student Leadership Council Member