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100 Deadliest Days of Summer Begin for Teen Drivers

A teenage girl with long dark hair is seated in the driver's seat of a car, looking directly at the camera with a serious expression.

As summer approaches, families across South Carolina are gearing up for vacations and fun in the sun. However, for parents of teenage drivers, this season brings a sobering reality: the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer." This period between Memorial Day and Labor Day sees a significant spike in teen car accidents and fatalities.

With school out, more teens are on the road. The increased freedom and longer daylight hours can lead to more nighttime driving, which is particularly hazardous for inexperienced drivers. Alarmingly, statistics show that during 2020, about eight teens died each day in motor vehicle crashes, with 44% of these fatalities occurring between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

What are the main summer driving risks for teen drivers?

Several factors contribute to the heightened risk for teen drivers, including:

  • Inexperience: Teens between 16 and 19 have the highest crash rate of any age group due to their lack of driving experience, according to the IIHS.
  • Distracted driving: A staggering 60% of teen crashes today are caused by distracted driving. Surprisingly, the top distraction is other passengers, accounting for 15% of teen driver crashes, compared to 12% caused by cell phone use.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed is a leading factor in crashes for both teens and adults.
  • Not wearing seatbelts: In 2020, 56% of teens killed in car crashes were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.
  • Impaired driving: Alcohol and drug use significantly increase the risk of accidents, especially for inexperienced drivers.

How can parents help keep teen drivers safe on the road?

Parents play a crucial role in ensuring their teens' safety behind the wheel. Here are some safety tips to consider:

  • Lead by example: Eliminate distractions when you drive, and always drive sober. Remember, you are your teen's primary driving teacher.
  • Set clear rules: Limit the number of passengers, enforce a strict no-phone policy while driving, and set curfews to reduce nighttime driving.
  • Encourage open communication: Let your teen know they can call you for a ride if they ever find themselves in a potentially dangerous situation, no questions asked.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Spend time driving with your teen in various conditions to help them gain experience.
  • Educate about risks: Discuss the dangers of speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving. Encourage them to sign a safe driving agreement.
  • Utilize technology: Teach your teen how to use the "Do Not Disturb" features on their phone while driving.

What can teen drivers do to be safe on the road?

Here are some key things teen drivers can do to be safe on the road:

  • Always wear a seatbelt and encourage passengers to do the same.
  • Put the phone away, limit passengers, and focus solely on driving.
  • Follow speed limits, traffic rules, and signs and signals.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs completely when driving.
  • Limit nighttime driving between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate other drivers' actions.

Let our skilled South Carolina attorneys stand up for your rights

Despite your best efforts, car accidents can still happen during the 100 Deadliest Days. If you or someone you love is injured in a crash, it's important to understand your legal rights and options.

In South Carolina, you have three years from the date of a car accident to file a personal injury claim. Plus, dealing with insurance companies can be challenging when seeking full compensation for your damages. They may offer low settlements or deny your claims altogether.

The experienced South Carolina attorneys at Twenge + Twombley are here to guide you through this challenging time. We're equipped to handle even the most complex car accident claims and fight for your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our skilled lawyers will listen to the details of your case, explain your legal options, and help you understand the steps needed to maximize your compensation.

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