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Why is summer more dangerous for teen drivers?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Car Accidents

Young adults usually look forward to the summer months with eager anticipation. High school and college students have a lengthy break from class during which they can socialize and enjoy a bit of freedom. They are old enough to drive, which means they can plan all kinds of excursions.

Unfortunately, summertime road trips and adventures with friends can lead to tragedy rather than beautiful memories in some cases. According to research into collisions involving young adults, the most dangerous time for them to be on the road is during the summer months.

Specifically, the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day see far more deadly crashes involving minors at the wheel than any other time of year. People have taken to calling the summer months the “100 deadliest days of summer” to draw attention to the increased risk. Why are the summer months so dangerous for younger drivers?

The lack of structure

One of the main reasons that the summer sees such a noticeable increase in teen driving fatalities is that young adults have more time to be out on the road. Instead of just driving back and forth to school, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs, they may head to parties or the beach or just cruise around with friends. In general, teen drivers have three times the risk per mile traveled of dying in a crash as older drivers do. The more time they spend out on the road, the greater their chance of getting into a collision that could have long-term consequences.

The social opportunities

Going out with friends doesn’t just mean a trip to the beach or the movies. Many young adults also push boundaries and experiment with more adult recreational activities. Alcohol and drug use may be easier to hide from parents during the summer months when there is less pressure on a young adult’s schedule. There may be more parties and opportunities to experiment. A teen attempting to drive after trying drugs or alcohol for the first time could lead to a tragic outcome for the young motorist involved.

The better that parents understand the risks of the road, the more capable they may be of teaching their young adults how to avoid potentially deadly car crashes. Understanding that the 100 deadliest days of summer are a particularly dangerous time to drive could help adults more effectively monitor and educate teen drivers accordingly.