Teens enjoying a summer drive

Summer heralds a time of freedom and adventure, particularly for teenagers eager to hit the road. Many teens, freshly licensed or recently graduated from their state's driving restrictions, anticipate the summer months for the liberty to drive late into the night and explore with friends. However, this newfound freedom comes with significant risks.

The stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day marks the 100 Deadliest Days for teenage drivers. This period is notorious for a spike in road fatalities, with a concerning number involving young drivers. For instance, in 2012 — the latest year with comprehensive data — crashes involving teen drivers resulted in nearly 1,000 fatalities, half of whom were teenagers themselves.

Continuous Learning Beyond the License

Earning a driver's license is a milestone, but it's merely the beginning of a lifelong journey in safe driving. For new drivers and the parents or guardians guiding them, it's vital to recognize that the learning doesn't stop once the license is in hand.

National Safety Council Infographic: Offers crucial insights into teen driving risks during the summer and practical advice on how to navigate them safely. 

Drive it HOME Program: This initiative by the National Safety Council is an excellent resource for parents and guardians. It provides informative videos on becoming an effective driving coach, emphasizing the importance of maintaining this crucial role well beyond the acquisition of a driver's license. Learn more about how to support your teen's driving journey at Drive it HOME.

Staying Safe This Summer

As we move into the warmer months, let's prioritize safety on the roads. It's a collective effort between teens, parents, and guardians to ensure that this exciting time doesn't turn tragic. By staying informed, continuing education beyond the driving test, and fostering a supportive learning environment, we can make a difference in reducing teen driving fatalities.

Remember, the road to safe driving is a marathon, not a sprint. Let's work together to make these 100 days, and every day after, safer for everyone.

General Statistics

- Each year, an average of 2,108 teens are involved in deadly crashes.
- Approximately 31% (660) of these crashes occur during the "100 Deadliest Days," from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
- These crashes result in an average of 2,341 deaths annually, with 732 fatalities occurring during the "100 Deadliest Days."
- For every mile driven, new teen drivers (ages 16-17) are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to adults

Common Risk Factors for Teen Drivers

-Distracted Driving: Nearly six out of ten teen crashes are attributed to distraction, with the top distractions being interactions with other passengers and smartphones.
- Driving with Teen Passengers: The risk of a fatal crash increases with the number of teenagers in the car, often due to peer pressure.
- Speeding: Speeding is a factor in nearly 30% of fatal crashes involving teen drivers.
- Not Wearing a Safety Belt: Teens significantly reduce their risk of injury or death by wearing seat belts.

Advice for Parents

-Lead by Example: Demonstrate safe driving behaviors, avoid distractions, and always wear your seatbelt.
-Supervised Practice Driving: Encourage at least 50 hours of supervised driving in a variety of conditions.
-Teach Defensive Driving Skills: Help your teen to anticipate and avoid potential hazards on the road.
-Establish a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement: Set clear rules, consequences, and rewards related to driving.