Summer is here, and the 100 deadliest days of the year are upon us again. Just what does this mean? For parents with teen drivers, it means that it is time to reinforce the importance of safety behind the wheel and set some driving ground rules to reduce the chances of tragedy occurring. For teen drivers, it’s time to be extra vigilant behind the wheel, for their own safety and the safety of everyone on the road.
What Are the Deadliest Days?
The “100 deadliest days” is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when school is out, freedom is calling and teenagers drive more. During these deadly days, the number of teenage drivers involved in injury and fatality crashes rises dramatically. In fact, the average number of deaths in crashes involving teen drivers per day is 17 percent higher than on other days of the year, according to AAA. Over the five-year period from 2013-2017, nearly 3,500 people died in crashes involving teen drivers during the deadliest days. Major contributing factors in these fatal crashes were:
Speeding—28 percent of these fatality accidents involved speeding. Driving too fast is a pervasive problem among teens. In a recent survey by the AAA Foundation, approximately half of teenagers reported speeding in the past 30 days.
Drinking and driving—17 percent of the crashes involved drinking and driving. One out of six teen drivers who were involved in fatal accidents tested positive for alcohol use.
Distracted driving—9 percent of fatality crashes involved distracted teen drivers. The Foundation’s survey showed that 52 percent of teen drivers admitted to reading text messages or emails while driving during the previous 30-days. Almost 40 percent said they had written a text or email.
Nighttime driving has also been linked to teen fatality accidents, which is why many states place restrictions on teens driving at night before they are fully licensed. In New York State, teens who don’t have their full licenses cannot drive between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. without a supervising driver, unless they are traveling between home and school or home and work, or in some counties between home and a drivers’ education program. (Teenagers who are not fully licensed cannot drive at any time of day in New York City’s five boroughs.)
What Parents Can Do
What can parents do to help keep their children safe? Communicate with teenagers often about avoiding risky driving behaviors such as speeding, texting and, of course, drinking and driving. Parents can also model good driving behaviors themselves by not engaging in the aforementioned or other risky driving behaviors.
The AAA recommends making a parent-teen driving agreement that sets driving ground rules and consequences for violating the rules. You can find a sample agreement on the AAA website.
What Teenagers Should Know
Speeding and other unsafe behaviors while at the wheel are not only potentially deadly, they can also result in your losing driving privileges. Per New York law, if you get just one serious violation while holding a permit or junior license, your driving privileges will be suspended for 60 days if you’re convicted. A serious violation is one that carries three or more violation points. Speeding, from one to 10 mph over the speed limit, carries three points. Going faster than that carries even more points. A first conviction for texting also results in a 60-day suspension. The penalties for serious traffic violations increase with additional convictions.
Contact a New York Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle or other accident, reach out to an experienced attorney at Kaplan Lawyers PC for help. Our attorneys are available for you to contact 24/7.