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Teen Distractions Lead to Increased Fatalities During 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

A young woman with blonde hair is seated in the driver's seat of a car, multitasking while driving. She is holding a smartphone in her right hand, looking at the screen, and holding an apple in her left hand while steering.

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day marks a dangerous time on American roads. Known as the "100 Deadliest Days," this stretch sees a troubling spike in car accidents and teen traffic fatalities. The National Road Safety Foundation warns that teen driver deaths increase by about 20% during these summer months, with an average of seven young lives lost daily.

As such, parents and communities must stay vigilant as teens enjoy their summer break and reinforce safe driving habits to protect our youngest drivers during this potentially hazardous season.

Why are teen drivers at risk during the 100 Deadliest Days?

Teen drivers face a perfect storm of risk factors during the summer months. The National Road Safety Foundation reports that 60% of teen traffic deaths are caused by distractions, compared to 30% for the general population.

Distractions extend beyond texting and talking on the phone. It often includes having other teen passengers in the car, which can take away from the focus of driving. Other manual, visual, and cognitive distractions include eating and driving, adjusting a GPS or infotainment system, and taking pictures and videos.

Inexperience exasperates these risks, as many teens are still mastering the rules of the road and developing decision-making skills behind the wheel. The combination of more free time, increased night driving, and a false sense of security on familiar roads creates a dangerous environment for teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days.

How can parents help keep teen drivers safe during the 100 Deadliest Days?

Parents play an important role in protecting their teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days. The National Road Safety Foundation stresses the importance of ongoing education and reinforcement of safe driving habits. To accomplish this, parents are encouraged to:

  • Lead by example, demonstrating distraction-free driving at all times.
  • Establish clear rules about passenger limits and night driving.
  • Discuss the dangers of distracted driving, including the risks posed by friends in the car.
  • Use the NRSF's toolkit to guide conversations about road safety.
  • Practice driving with their teens in various conditions to build experience.
  • Encourage teens to speak up when they feel unsafe as passengers.
  • Consider implementing a parent-teen driving agreement outlining expectations and consequences.

What legal protections exist for teen drivers?

Alabama's Graduated Driver License laws recognize the unique risks teen drivers face and impose restrictions to mitigate them. For example, Alabama requires 16-year-old drivers to have a restricted license. This restriction limits new drivers to having only one passenger in the car aside from parents, legal guardians, or family members. Other common provisions include:

  • Limits on nighttime driving.
  • Zero tolerance for alcohol use.
  • Mandatory supervised driving hours before full licensure.
  • Cell phone bans for novice drivers.

Protect your rights after an Alabama car accident

Whether you have been injured in an accident caused by a teen driver or your teen was hurt in a crash that was someone else's fault, don't navigate the aftermath alone. Dealing with insurance companies can add to the stress of a car accident, regardless of age and driving experience.

You're likely already faced with medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. An experienced car accident attorney at Dean Waite & Associates, LLC in Mobile, AL, can be your advocate and fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.

With extensive knowledge of Alabama's civil justice system, we're committed to holding negligent drivers accountable and protecting our clients' rights. We also have the case results to prove it. To find out how we can help you, contact us online or call our Mobile, AL, law office to schedule a free consultation. We'll answer your questions and explain how our law firm can help with your potential legal case. Don't hesitate ... call Dean Waite!

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