As the school year draws to a close and teens have more free time to drive, their risk for being involved in an accident increases markedly. Memorial Day marks the start of the so-called “100 Deadliest Days,” the period of the year when more teens are killed in car accidents than at any other time. According to a recent study, Mississippi has the third-highest teen fatality rate in the nation. Learn more below about the increased risks that teen drivers face over the summer, and steps that parents can take to keep kids safe on the road.
According to research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an average of 10 people die each day in a crash involving a teen driver during the 100 days following Memorial day, adding up to a total average of 1,022 each summer. Car accident fatalities among teens between the age of 16 and 19 increase by 16% during these summer months. These accidents are repeatedly linked to certain behaviors: nighttime driving, driving with passengers, and driving distractedly. Putting restrictions on these behaviors can help your son or daughter stay safe on the road.
Remind kids of the dangers of cell phone use
According to research conducted by the AAA Foundation in collaboration with the University of Iowa, dash cam footage collected from thousands of accidents involving teen drivers shows that 12% of accidents were preceded by a teen operating a cell phone in some way. While all drivers are at risk of being tempted to use their phones while in traffic, teens are especially susceptible to the lure. Consider installing an app, such as SafeRide, that blocks texting while a driver is behind the wheel, and make sure your kids know how big of a risk it is to text or use social media while driving.
Keep teens off the road at night
The chances that a teen aged 16 to 17 will be involved in a fatal crash are three times as high at night than they are during the day, and 16% of all fatalities among teens aged 15 to 19 occurred between the hours of 9pm and midnight. In Mississippi, teens who hold an intermediate license may not drive unsupervised between the hours of ten at night and six in the morning (11:30-6:00 on the weekends).
Limit teens’ ability to have passengers in the car
According to AAA’s study of dash cam footage of teen drivers, 15% of crashes were preceded by the teen driver interacting with or attending to the car’s passengers, and 60% were related in some way to distracted driving. Mississippi law does not restrict drivers on an intermediate license regarding how many passengers they can have in their car, so any rule on this topic must be your own. Ensure that your child is focused on the road by barring them from driving with friends, or only doing so when an adult can be in the car as well.
If you or a young driver in your household has been injured in a car accident along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and you believe another driver was responsible for those injuries, seek out experienced legal representation to help you recover the compensation to which you may be entitled by contacting Biloxi personal injury attorney Corban Gunn for a free consultation at 228.284.6805.
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