Memorial Day is on the horizon, and that means more teen drivers across Alabama and the United States will soon join you on the roadways. It also means more fatalities will likely follow, if recent statistics are any indication, and the potential dangers are so severe that AAA deemed the 100 days immediately following Memorial Day the “deadliest days of summer.”
Because so many teens are out of school and joining you on the road, your risk of an accident increases, and not just because of driver inexperience, although that, too, is a likely contributor. Teen drivers are increasingly practicing unsafe driving behaviors including texting, which studies show enhances the risk of a crash by 23 times. Teens are also engaging in other distracted driving-related behaviors that endanger you and everyone else on the road, with distracted driving actions playing a role in nearly 60 percent of accidents during those 100 deadly days.
While the dangers associated with texting and driving receive considerable media attention, there are other behaviors teens commonly practice that place you and other motorists and passengers in danger. In one study, which took into account what teens were doing in the six seconds immediately preceding an accident, 11 percent of drivers were looking at something within their vehicles, and 15 percent were engaging in conversations with other passengers in their cars.
When distracted driving behaviors and driver inexperience combine, you and everyone on the roadway face an increased risk of an accident. So much so, in fact, that the number of fatalities on American roadways during these 100 deadly days increase by 16 percent when compared with the rest of the year.
While this information about summer driving dangers seeks to inform you, it should not replace legal advice.