Summer is one of the best parts of being a teenager. We all likely have many happy memories of our summers as teenagers, spending time with friends and family at events and on vacations.
One of the most important milestones for teenagers is getting their driver’s license, which provides them with the freedom to drive on Tennessee’s many open roads and highways.
If you are the parent of a Tennessee teenager, you may have many concerns as your teen begins driving. These concerns are valid, especially in the summer.
Why are they called the 100 deadliest days of summer?
You may not be aware that the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is named the “100 deadliest days” because of the significant increase in traffic accidents involving teenagers during this time.
According to the advocacy group We Save Lives, teenagers have the highest accident rate of any age group and an average of 260 teenagers are killed in car accidents during each month of the summer. This is a 26% increase compared with other months.
Over half of car accidents involving teenagers today are caused by distracted driving. This should not come as a surprise, since distracted driving remains a major problem among most age groups.
Vehicle passengers are the top distraction
You might automatically assume that the distraction comes from teenagers being on their phones, but the highest distraction is other vehicle passengers. Many teenagers are driving with their friends, and getting distracted by talking or interacting with friends in the car can cause a serious or deadly accident.
There are other factors that contribute to the higher rate of serious car accidents among teenagers. Lack of driving experience, immaturity and the increased chance of engaging in risky behavior, such as speeding or not wearing a seat belt, are all causes of teenage car accidents.
Helping your teenager be a responsible driver
There are many things you can do to reduce your teenager’s chance of being in an accident over these “100 deadliest days” in the summer.
Talk to your teenager about the importance of driving safely. Remind them about the dangers of distracted driving.
Stress the importance of safely arriving at their destination and remembering that any phone calls or messages can wait.
Set an example yourself by being a safe and responsible driver. Letting your teenager observe you driving responsibly will increase the chance that they will exhibit the same behavior.
Do not be afraid to penalize bad behavior
If you see your teenager driving distracted or they receive a citation for a traffic violation, set appropriate penalties. Consider taking their driving privileges away or minimizing the time they may use the car. You may even think about not allowing them to have their phone while driving.
These tips can help your teenager avoid dangerous distracted driving behavior and teach them the value of driving safely.
What to do if you are the victim of a distracted driving accident
Being the victim of an accident caused by distracted driving, whether the driver was a teenager or an adult, can have major consequences. You may be seriously injured and face high medical bills and lost wages.
Distracted driving is negligent driving. A personal injury action could result in compensation for your damages. Proving negligence is challenging, so knowing the legal standards you must meet is important.