The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer is the time period from the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day, all the way to the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day. During this time period from 2010 to 2019, more than 7,000 people died in teen driving-related summertime crashes. This amounts to roughly seven people every day, which outpaces the approximate six people killed in car crashes every day during the rest of the year.
This startling trend doesn’t end at teen drivers, however. According to the National Safety Council, the motor vehicle deaths and mileage death rates for all motorists noticeably increase from July through September, when compared to the rest of the year.
The summertime crash trend is apparent, but why does it occur? For teen drivers in particular, they may engage in the following behaviors that increase the chances of a crash:
Distracted driving. One in three teens who text admit they have done so while driving. Texting is not the only form of distraction that manifests in a vehicle. Other distractions include smartphone use, loud music, passengers, and more.
Not wearing seatbelts. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 45% of the teen drivers who died in crashes in 2018 were unbuckled.
Speeding. Speeding was a factor in 28% of the fatal crashes involving teen drivers.
Peer pressure. In a study analyzed by the NHTSA, teen drivers were two-and-a-half times more likely to engage in risky behaviors while driving if they had a teenage peer in the car. This number increases to three times when there are multiple passengers.
Learn more at NHTSA.gov.