With summer here, the risk of teen traffic accidents rises

This article looks at why the 100 days following Memorial Day are so dangerous for teen drivers.

The summer months are a welcome time for most families, particularly for teens looking for a break from school. However, according to CNN, summer also tends to see a dramatic rise in teen traffic accidents. With more teens hitting the roads, the risk of them being involved in a serious accident rises significantly. Furthermore, experts say that the increased risk may be due to many teens driving on roads they are unfamiliar with and with passengers who could be highly distracting.

100 Deadliest Days

While Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning on summer for many people, for safety experts it also marks the beginning of what is called the 100 Deadliest Days. During this period traffic accidents involving teen drivers tend to spike by about 16 percent. Furthermore, research shows that 5,000 teens lost their lives during the 100 days following Memorial Day from 2010 to 2014.

An obvious reason for the spike is simply that with school out, more teenagers are on the road, which in turn leads to an increase in overall teen accidents. The fact that many teens are likely driving for recreational purposes makes the situation even worse since they may be driving to places and down roads that they are not familiar with.

Distracting passengers

One reason for the increased risk, however, may be less obvious. Safety experts say that because many teens will be driving with friends during the summer, the risk of those drivers being distracted by fellow passengers also increases. Many parents, those same experts, may also not appreciate just how dangerous passengers can be for inexperienced drivers.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, one study found that not only were 60 percent of traffic accidents involving teens caused by distracted driving, but that the leading distraction was actually fellow passengers. While passenger distraction accounted for 15 percent of teen crashes, using a cellphone accounted for 12 percent of accidents. The results of that study suggest that while parents have done a decent job of warning their teenage children about the dangers of using a cellphone while driving, more attention needs to be paid to the risk of talking to or interacting with passengers while behind the wheel.

Personal injury law

With the busy summer driving season now here, people need to be aware of the risks involved with driving. For those who have been injured in a crash, the consequences can be devastating. Fortunately, a personal injury attorney can help those who have been hurt, including by notifying them of their legal options and potentially helping them pursue financial compensation to help them deal with their ordeal.