Whether you have a newly-licensed driver in your immediate family or just live in an area with a lot of young drivers, the summer marks the time when crash risk will be higher for those youthful drivers.
Newly-licensed 16- and 17-year-olds can easily get into crashes because they do not yet have the driving skill that comes only with experience. They may struggle to remain calm when an animal runs in front of their vehicle or to know how to respond if they have a blowout while traveling at high speeds.
While some of these risks exist year-round, the summer sees a significant increase in the chances that teenage drivers will cause deadly car crashes.
Unstructured driving time makes teens a risk to themselves and others
From just before school lets out to just after the school season starts again, researchers see a significant uptick in the number of collisions involving newly-licensed teenage drivers. Memorial Day kicks off the 100 most dangerous days of the year for teens and young adults on the road.
For the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day, their risk of dying in a crash is higher than it is the other 265 days each year. Overall, young adults are three times as likely as older adults to die in a collision, and that risk is higher when school’s out for summer.
Not needing to drive to school every day, increased socialization with peers and the temptation of partying during the summer months may all contribute to that crash risk. Not being subject to a curfew and being able to go out for a ride while their parents are at work are also reasons why teen driving accidents may increase during summer months.
How can you minimize the impact of this statistical risk?
If you have a teen driver in your family, late spring or early summer is a good time to go over driving rules and look into technology that can help you enforce those rules.
If you do not have a youthful driver in your household, the summer months are a time when you should pay extra attention to others behind the wheel and give a little more space to those who seem quite young or too distracted to be safe on the roads.
Learning more about your statistical risk for a motor vehicle collision can help you promote better safety practices and make better choices when responding to a crash caused by someone else.