The passing of Memorial Day is more than just synonymous with the start of summer; data shows that it also marks the beginning of the deadliest days of the year for teenage drivers in the United States.
According to statistics from the American Safety Council (ASC) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more teenagers are killed in car crashes during the 100-day span between Memorial Day and Labor Day than throughout the rest of the year.
In 2012, the last full year for which fatal crash data was available, approximately 1,000 people were killed in crashes involving a teenage driver between the 100 deadliest days. Experts speculate that a combination of factors – including an increase in travel, driver distraction, driver impairment, and unfamiliarity with different roadways – contribute to the spike in fatal teen accidents.
Statistical Trends in Fatal Teen Crashes
Motor vehicle collisions are already the leading cause of death in teenagers today. But officials with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) say they see a big spike in fatal crashes this time of year due to more teens being on the road with their friends instead of being busy with school.
Below is a set of tips that parents can use to help educate teen drivers about the dangers of driving and the risks most likely to contribute to a serious car accident:
- Have your teen make a pledge to always wear a seatbelt and not drink and drive;
- Set limits on the number of nighttime driving hours;
- Make yourself available for a ride or other help so that your teen does not get into a vehicle under the influence or with an impaired driver;
The ASC has specifically identified July 2-4, August 3-4, August 6, August 12, and September 2 as eight of the ten deadliest days on the road for the entire year that fall between the 100 deadliest days.