Keeping teen drivers safe over the 100 deadly days of summer

Texas parents may not realize that the period from Memorial Day through Labor Day is considered to be one of the most deadly periods of the year for inexperienced teenage drivers. As such, it's come to be known as the "100 Deadly Days of Summer."

The spokesperson for the National Safety Council (NSC) reported that in 2015, 991 teens, ages 15 to 19, died in motor vehicle accidents in the three months of June, July and August.

Why is summer such a dangerous time for teen drivers?

Recall your own your own youthful years. Do you remember the rush of excitement you felt at the end of the school year, with nearly three months of unfettered time spooling out ahead of you? Even though most teenagers take on summer jobs for spending money or to save for college tuition, these jobs usually require use of a vehicle to get to and from the job site.

Often the teens' jobs are in the fast-food industry, which can mean that they have to drive home late at night after a closing shift at the restaurant. Night driving is inherently more dangerous than daytime driving for everyone on the roads. Familiar terrain may appear differently at night, especially if accompanied by foggy conditions.

Recreational teen driving rates jump up in summer

The NSC also points out that teens drive more during the summer for recreation with friends and going on dates. Curfews are often extended by parents over the summer months, which contributes to more inexperienced drivers on the streets later at night and into the early morning hours.

Some of the teen drivers may even be impaired by drugs or alcohol, but even when that is not the case, the risk of running into impaired adult drivers increases.

There is also a risk that passengers can distract the teen driver and lead to a dangerous collision. The NSC spokesperson added that a single teen passenger in the car with a teen driver ups the risk of a fatal accident by 44 percent. Three teens in the vehicle raises that risk an astonishing 300 percent.

How can parents keep teens safe?

Remain involved in your teen's life and insist on strict consequences for breaking any rules of the road or parental restrictions on driving.

If your teenager gets hurt while riding in a friend's vehicle, you may need to file a claim for compensation with the at-fault driver's auto insurance company.

So how will you keep your teen drivers safe this summer?

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