What are the "100 Deadliest Days" of summer for teenagers?

The 100 deadliest days of summer are when teenagers are most likely to be killed in a car accident. This period runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Summer is the best time of year for teenagers across Chicago, as well as the rest of the country. With school being out, the promise of freedom looms ahead, and many teens have additional driving freedoms that they are excited to take advantage of. Sadly, many teenagers across the country this summer will be involved in crashes that seriously injure them or worse.

Motor vehicle crashes are the top cause of death for teenagers in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those between the ages of 16 and 19 are almost three times more at risk of being in a fatal accident than those over age 20. In 2013, over 200,000 teenagers across the country were treated in emergency rooms and 2,163 were killed in accidents.

Most dangerous time of the year

According to AAA, the period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the "100 Deadliest Days" for teenagers. During this time, 10 people are killed every day across the country due to crashes involving teen drivers. Why is summer such a dangerous time? This may be due in part to teenagers having more hours to drive, more of them being on the road and more drivers on the roads in general during the summer months.

The risk factors for teens and driving, according to the CDC, include the following:

  • Drivers, especially male teens, showing off for their friends
  • Using a cellphone while driving or otherwise being distracted or preoccupied
  • Not having a lot of experience behind the wheel
  • Driving while drowsy or intoxicated
  • Not wearing a seat belt
  • Speeding, tailgating or reckless driving

Additionally, younger, less experienced drivers may have difficulty recognizing hazards or knowing how to react to dangerous situations. They might have more difficulty driving at night, and many may decide to take risks without fully understanding the possible consequences.

Safety tips

Parents may help to reduce the risks by having their teenagers sign a document stating that they understand the rules expected of them, as well as the consequences should they break these rules. It can also help for parents to set a good example of safe driving behavior long before their children are old enough to drive.

With experience, proper guidance and good examples, many teenagers can learn to be safe, conscientious drivers. However, not every crash can be prevented. If you are injured in an accident caused by someone else, you have the right to contact a Chicago personal injury attorney to discuss whether you are eligible for compensation.