Summer is here and although we are not back to our normal routines, folks are still traveling, visiting family and friends, and going to destinations to find warmth and sunshine. It is important for parents of teenagers to discuss travel safety and distracted driving with them and to remember that accidents happen when we least expect them to.
The 100 deadliest days of summer is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and during that time, car accidents involving teens rise considerably. Statistics show that during this time period, around 260 teens lose their lives each month. Almost 60% of teen crashes during these months are caused by distracted driving that occur between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Some of the contributing factors to teen crashes during the summer are:
- Speeding or Reckless Driving. 35% of cases that involved teen drivers, the teen was speeding at the time of the crash. It is important to remember that Reckless Driving is more prominent amount male teens as well.
- Distracted Driving. You should discuss the importance of avoiding anything that takes your teen’s hands, eyes or mind off of the road. Texting or using a phone, playing music, using GPS, or eating a meal are things that need to be done before they leave or until they are safely stopped at their destination. Something as simple as a conversation with a passenger can take focus from the road and increase their risk of being involved in an accident.
- Driving Under the Influence. Teens are not the only ones who drive while under the influence, but more teens do so during these months, especially after leaving a party or other summer celebration where alcohol or drugs were involved.
Talk to your teen regularly to make sure they know the rules of the road, explain the dangers of driving, and ways to stay safe. We encourage you to set the example for them by also avoiding these risky driving behaviors. Make sure to remind them every time they leave home to wear their seatbelt and limit the number of passengers in the car when they’re driving. The Hartsville Police Department is dedicated to the safety of all who travel our roadways, especially our teens. Our DUI Officer, Traffic Safety Officer, and Patrol Division are committed to the mission of making sure everyone goes home safe.