As a Florida resident, you have likely heard the phrase “100 Deadliest Days.” Unfortunately, it is something that far too many families have been affected by. The 100 Deadliest Days refers to the period during the summer months that span between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During this time, fatal crashes among teen drivers increase significantly. During this period, across the country, over 7,000 people died in teen-related accidents between 2010 and 2019.
There are several reasons more accidents take place when teens are behind the wheel. These reasons include things like:
- Lack of experience
- Lack of skills
- Failure to use safety belts
- Easily distracted
Unfortunately, this trend does not show any signs of slowing down, even with more attention being brought to it.
Common Causes of Teen-Related Accidents During the 100 Deadliest Days
The list above gives you an overview of what contributes to this surge in teen-related accidents. However, there are a few that are more prevalent than others.
In many accident situations involving teens, a contributing factor is dangerous driving behavior. Distracted driving is a huge problem. Teens have countless things to pull their attention away from the road, including apps and friends in the car. These distractions have led to 34% of teens admitting to using their phone or device while behind the wheel. Also, 48% of teens have stated they were passengers in a vehicle where the driver was on their phone or another device.
Another contributing factor in teen-related accidents is underage drinking. These seem to surge during the 100 Deadliest Days, and unfortunately, also occur during other times of the year. Not only is underage drinking illegal, but it is quite dangerous for teens to get in a vehicle after they have drunk alcohol.
Teens who begin drinking young are up to seven times more likely than their friends to eventually be involved in a fatal car accident. Also, 25% of all fatal accidents involving teenagers involve underage drinking.
There are other dangerous behaviors that teens tend to engage in, too. For example, they often speed and don’t wear their seat belt. Many teens also have too many passengers in the car at one time, which can also lead to more accidents during the 100 Deadliest Days.
Tips to Help Keep Teens Safe During the 100 Deadliest Days
It is up to parents to inform teens of important safety rules to follow while driving. While these rules are important throughout the rule, they are especially important during the 100 Deadliest Days. These rules include:
Limit Passengers in the Vehicle
If a teen driver has friends as passengers in their vehicle, the likelihood of an accident increases significantly. In fact, just two passengers cause the risk of an accident to grow by 158%.
Obey All Speed Limits
Speed is a significant factor in over 33% of all fatal car accidents that involve teen drivers. You need to encourage your child to pay attention to and obey all speed limits. This will help reduce the possibility of being involved in an accident significantly.
Reduce and Eliminate Distractions
Using your phone or reading an email while driving isn’t worth the risk. It is best to focus on driving. If you need to get on your phone, you should pull over to somewhere safe.
Pay Attention to the Road
Taking your eyes off the road for mere seconds increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident significantly. Not only that, but the outcome of this could be fatal. When you are constantly scanning the road, it will help you remain alert and stay prepared for unexpected traffic conditions or potential hazards.
Minimize Nighttime Driving
Driver drowsiness, inexperience, and reduced visibility all contribute to teen accidents. This also makes driving at night more dangerous. In Florida, there are curfew restrictions in place that licensed teens between the ages of 16 and 17 must abide by to help reduce the number of accidents that occur.
Always Buckle Up
Using a seat belt is one of the best ways to save lives and reduce the possibility of injuries after an accident. You need to encourage your teenage drivers to wear their seat belts, regardless of where they are going.
Avoid Driving While Impaired
Alcohol and drugs can impact your teen’s ability to react, affect their coordination, attention, and perception, making it impossible to stay focused on the task at hand – driving. Teens should know never to get in the car with an impaired driver and to have a plan to get home safe if necessary.