How parents can keep their teen drivers safe during the '100 deadliest days'

While the phrase "100 deadliest days" might conjure up images of some type of horror movie or science fiction novel, it actually references a very real and very disturbing phenomenon.

Indeed, the 100 deadliest days references the timeframe running from Memorial Day through Labor Day, a period that typically sees the average number of fatal car accidents involving teens jump by an astounding 15 percent when compared with the rest of the year.

As to why the rate of fatalities among teen drivers is so much higher during the summer, experts have identified a host of potential causes, including more nighttime driving, more passengers in vehicles, more temptation for dangerous maneuvers given ideal weather conditions, and more temptation to talk and text about plans owing to later curfews.

Interestingly enough, a recent survey by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions reveals that parental driving behaviors might also be playing a role in this deadly phenomenon.

Specifically, after surveying 2,500 teens and 1,000 parents, the researchers found the following:

  • 62 percent of parents confessed to using their smartphones to talk or check incoming calls while driving
  • 55 percent of parents confessed to using apps while driving
  • 50 percent of parents confessed to calling or texting their teens while they know they are driving, with roughly 33 percent admitting to wanting a prompt response     

As discouraging as this is, experts indicate that there are some simple steps parents can take to help make this a safe summer for their teen drivers:

  • Set a good example by keeping smartphones turned off or out of reach, obeying the speed limit and wearing a seat belt
  • Help them gain more experience by having them drive you more places
  • Discuss safe driving practices and establish expectations with a parent-child driving agreement
  • Stress that it's okay to take a cab or use a ride share company if they are feeling fatigued or have consumed any intoxicating substance
  • Limit smartphone interactions so that that they can focus on safe driving

Consider speaking with a skilled legal professional if you've suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one owing to the negligence of another motorist. Together, you can discuss your options for securing both justice and peace of mind.

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