Summertime is a dangerous time for teenage drivers

Two teenagers were killed last week in a car crash in Florence County, Wisconsin. The two 16-year-olds were driving down a county highway when the driver crossed the center line while trying to make a turn. The vehicle then went off the roadway and a hit a tree, bursting into flames.

Summertime can be an extremely dangerous time for teenage drivers. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 1,000 people were killed in auto accidents that involved a teenage driver between Memorial Day and Labor Day of 2016.

The time period between these two holidays has become known as the 100 deadliest days for teenage drivers. Why do teen driving accidents spike in the summertime, and what can you do to protect your teenager?

Increased time on the roads

Once school is out, your teenager obviously has a lot more time to spend on the road. The more time he spends driving, the more likely he is to be involved in a car accident.

More nighttime driving

Since your teenager no longer has homework to worry about in the evening, he's much more likely to go out with friends instead - and probably stay out later. Driving in low light conditions can be dangerous for teenagers who haven't had a lot of nighttime driving practice.

According to the study referenced above, 36 percent of motor vehicle fatalities that involved teen drivers occurred between the hours of 9:00 pm and 5:00 am.

Drinking and driving

Unfortunately, many car accidents involving teenagers also involve alcohol. Make sure your teenager is aware of both the risks and the consequences of driving while intoxicated, as well as the risks of riding in a car with a friend who may be intoxicated.

Speeding is an issue

Speeding is also a contributing factor to teen-related accidents in the summertime - 29 percent of motor vehicle fatalities that involved teen drivers were speed-related.

More than one factor

There may not be just one factor that leads to the increase in auto accidents involving teens in the summer months. But put a few of them together - for instance, a teenager who has had a few beers and is speeding down the highway in the middle of the night - and the odds of an accident can increase exponentially.

One excellent resource for both you and your teenage driver is Keys 2 Drive: The AAA Guide to Teen Driver Safety. It can be a great starting point for a conversation with your teen - and talking with your teenager early and frequently about the dangers of summer driving is important.

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