Trust And Experience Matter

The risk for teen drivers is higher during the summer

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Young adults often lack the experience at the wheel that makes adults generally much more competent in dangerous and unpredictable driving situations. The more experience people have driving, the easier it is for them to handle the challenges of operating a motor vehicle. Teens and young adults who have recently secured their driver’s licenses are at higher risk of a crash than more experienced drivers.

Technically, teens and new drivers can get into crashes at any time. They could cause a wreck on their way home from a football game in the fall or when driving back from a part-time job during the pre-holiday shopping rush. They may be more prone to distraction especially if they are driving with friends. Researchers have identified the summer months as the most dangerous time for young adults and teens to be out on the road.

The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day see more teen traffic fatalities than any other time of year. What makes the summer such a risky time for teenagers who drive?

More free time means more risk

The main contributing factor to increased summer collision risk is the amount of free time that young adults have during the summer. They generally do not have any class obligations or athletic activities demanding their time. Some young adults may have part-time jobs, but others may have relatively open schedules. Teenagers might spend more time out on the road in the summer than they do during the school year. They may also be more likely to travel with friends, who can be a dangerous source of distraction. Additionally, the possibility of them attending parties where they try drugs or alcohol with their peers could also enhance their collision risk.

How parents can keep teen drivers safe this summer

Obviously, parents don’t want to simply lock their teen drivers up and tell them they have to stay inside all summer. However, handing over the keys to the family car may feel too permissive given the elevated crash risk. Parents may want to implement certain rules, including a driving curfew to keep young adults off the road late at night. Limiting how many passengers they can have and enforcing rules about mind-altering substances could also potentially help save a young adult’s life. With so many distracted drivers on the road, teens and young adults need to be vigilant about their own smart phone use while driving.  Texting and Driving is as dangerous as impaired driving.

Parents who understand trends in personal safety can use that information when creating household rules and discussing car crash concerns with teen drivers. Making the right moves before a potential crash scenario unfolds could protect a young adult who is still learning how to drive safely.