What You Should Know About the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” for Teen Drivers


While all car accidents are unfortunate, there’s something that’s particularly distressing about reading news surrounding the death of a teenager. Maybe it’s a lack of experience on the roads, distracted driving, or a sense of fearlessness. Or maybe it wasn’t even anything they did. Maybe the road or weather conditions were bad, or they encountered a drunk or negligent driver.

Regardless of the circumstances, it’s always good to be aware of common dangers that tend to be a common denominator in car accidents involving teenage drivers.

What is the leading cause of death for teenage drivers?

According to the CDC, auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers. The group with the highest risk are those between 16 and 19 years of age, and the likelihood increases when driving with other teenagers as passengers.

While distracted driving has always existed (before the age of smartphones, teen drivers would sometimes pay more attention to switching radio stations or changing cassettes or CDs), now there are notifications for text messages, email, WhatsApp, and social media, making the distractions seem to be tenfold. Although it may seem surprising, over 90% of teenagers have admitted they don’t fully understand the risks of texting while driving.

Why Car Accidents Increase During Summer

Once school is out, teens have extra free time, much of which is spent behind the wheel. In fact, the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the 100 deadliest days due to the increased amount of fatal car accidents involving teenagers. In 2016 alone, there were 1,050 related deaths during those days, averaging about 10 deaths per day.

So this is a serious issue. It’s not something tragic we watch on the news and forget about it the next day. It’s a very real problem that affects American families on a daily basis.

While there are circumstances a person cannot control (such as road or weather conditions or the presence of another negligent or drunk driver), it’s imperative for all teenagers and their parents to be cognizant of the things they can pay special attention to.

4 Common Causes for Teen Car Accident Deaths

1. Not wearing seatbelts

Wearing seatbelts is the fastest and easiest way to reduce the chances of dying during a car crash. In fact, this simple act will diminish the probability of serious injuries by about 50%. Yet teenagers are the age group that’s least likely to wear them.

2. Speeding

While driving over the speed limit may be something younger people might do due to a misguided feeling of invincibility, the reality is that often, it’s the result of inexperience. Passing a driver’s license test is not enough. Parents or guardians of teens should take the time to regularly ride along drives and provide practical feedback (admonishment or simply telling them to slow down is not enough).

3. Driving under the influence

Although the amount of teenagers who drive under the influence has decreased in the past few decades, the fact remains that those who do drive after ingesting alcohol are 17 times more likely to die during a car crash. This is another area where parent involvement is essential.

4. Distracted driving

A whopping 60% of motor vehicle accidents involving teens were the result of distracted driving. In addition to the typical cell phone activity, culprits were also a long list of activities unrelated to driving: getting caught up in conversation with passengers, eating, grooming, and taking selfies. There are even billboards that say that it’s better to leave a text unread than to be dead. However, taking the time to take their eyes off the road to read advertisements is also ill-advised.

Having these conversations may result in a couple of eye rolls, but it’s much better to have annoyed teenagers than dead ones. Make an effort to get involved. It’s always worth it.

Call us for a Consultation if Your Teen Has Been Involved in a Car Accident in Tampa Bay

If your teenager gets into a car accident, right after seeking medical attention and reporting it to the police, it’s crucial to get legal advice. Doing so will increase your chances of getting medical bills and property damage covered.

If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.