Summer Spike in Teen Driving Accidents?

Summer vacation means free time. School's out, the weather's warm, friends are plentiful and there is always something to do in the Chicagoland area. Whether it is to go to work or visit with friends, or even running errands for family, more teens are on the road.

Unfortunately, summer also turns out to be the deadliest time of year for teen drivers. Historically, summer bears the distinction of being the season with the most traffic fatalities, according to federal government and insurance industry studies.

The cause of the rise in teen fatalities in the summer track the reasons teens love summer: they're out later, have more freedom and aren't worried about school. Indeed, studies indicate that the time right after high school graduation is one of the most potentially deadly times of the year for teen drivers. Graduation parties are in full swing, and unfortunately, sometimes alcohol is served, leading to drunk-driving accidents.

Parents can help teens stay safe by imposing limits and helping their teens gain more supervised experience behind the wheel to prevent serious car accidents. Suggestions include:

  • Don't let your teen drive with a car full of other teens, which can lead to distractions.
  • Remind your teen about the hazards of talking on the phone or texting while driving, and set a good example when you're behind the wheel yourself.
  • Take your teen out for driving practice to bolster their experience, especially if they will be driving in high-traffic areas.
  • Know where your teen is going, who they're taking along and when they're expected back home.
  • Encourage your teen to call you if plans change, or if they find themselves in an uncertain situation. Sometimes, teens need a way to save face when making tough calls about how many people they should transport, or how to curb bad behavior by passengers. Being able to "blame" parental rules takes the pressure off the teen and allows him or her to make the right choices more readily.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to understand the options available to you.