Teen drivers lack the experience that older drivers typically have, and they are also more prone to distraction than many older motorists with more experience behind the wheel. For this reason, the summer months, when more teen drivers are out of school and out on the roads, are a dangerous time to drive, not only for teenagers but for everyone who might encounter them.
According to the New York State Department of Health, driver inexperience is the leading cause of crashes involving teenage drivers. However, there are other dangerous driving behaviors that are increasing teen driver-involved crashes.
Factors contributing to teen-involved crashes
Many fatal and nonfatal crashes involving teenage drivers also involve speed or alcohol. Studies show that teenagers are also prone to driving during high-risk conditions, such as after dark or during rainstorms. A teenager’s brain also functions differently than an adult’s brain. This means teenagers may behave differently when it comes to risk-taking or emotional maturity. This, too, increases crash risks.
Steps parents might take to increase safety
Parents of teenage motorists may be able to help keep their teens and everyone else on the roadway safe by limiting when their teenagers may drive, and with whom. Teenage passengers are a frequent source of distraction. Thus, parents may want to ban their kids from driving with other teenagers until they gain more driving experience. Educating teens about dangers and restricting them from driving after dark may also reduce crash risks.
The 100 Deadliest Days period occurs each year between Memorial Day and Labor Day when most schools have shut down for the summer.