Keeping teen drivers safe during the “100 Deadliest Days”

Frank S. Clowney III

Labor Day is just around the corner, marking the unofficial end of summer for many teens returning to school. But Labor Day also marks the end of another significant date parents and teen may not be aware of – the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer. The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is when crash fatalities involving teen drivers increase dramatically. Between 2014 and 2019, nearly 3,500 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days.

According to crash data from the AAA Foundation, the three major factors contributing to fatal teen accidents during the summer include:

  • Speeding
  • Drinking and driving
  • Distracted driving

While the 100 Deadliest Days may be coming to an end, parents must take steps to protect their teen drivers from endangering their lives and others’ lives on the road year-round. Here are a few things you can do to keep your teenager safe behind the wheel:

Lead by example

Your teen likely won’t take safety seriously if you don’t practice what you preach. Teach by example, with actions like storing your phone out of reach, always wearing your seatbelt and following traffic laws. By setting driving expectations as a family, you can all be more responsible drivers.

Talk about the dangers of drunk driving

Teenagers may not legally consume alcohol, but one in six teenage drivers involved in a fatal accident during the summer tested positive for alcohol. Explain the dangers of drinking and driving to your teens and the importance of finding a sober ride.

Limit in-car distractions

Texting and other distracting activities like eating, talking to passengers or listening to music can increase the risk of a crash while driving. Teach your teenager to focus solely on driving while in the car and turn-off any devices.

Your teens may be driving less often when school starts up, but these driving safety tips apply all year for drivers of all ages. To ensure your teenager stays safe on the road during the 100 Deadliest Days and beyond, talk to them about the importance of being a responsible driver today.