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South Carolina Teen Driver Fatalities: Nearly 40% Occur in Summer Months

A teenage driver behind the wheel looking to his right with a serious look.

Young drivers are at risk of severe injury and death during "100 Deadliest Days."

As temperatures rise and school ends, summer brings forth freedom for teenagers nationwide. Many have just obtained their driver's licenses and are excited to experience driving on their own. However, the summer months also bring about a concerning rise in fatal teen driving accidents on the roads of South Carolina. According to, 37.5% of teen driving deaths nationwide happen during the summer.

Teen driver statistics

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the "100 Deadliest Days' for teen drivers. During this time, there is an increase in fatal accidents, specifically those involving younger drivers. Teen drivers account for about one out of every 20 drivers on the roads in the U.S. According to AAA, 7,316 people died in summer accidents involving a teen drivers from 2011 to 2020.

The dangers aren't present solely when there is one teen driver. In fact, the risk of an accident increases depending on the passengers. When a teen operates a vehicle carrying only other teens, the fatality rate increases by 51% for everyone in the vehicle. While this number is alarming, other factors play a role in increasing the likelihood of fatal accidents involving teen drivers.

What causes teen driver accidents?

Teen driver accidents often occur from a combination of factors related to distractions, risky behaviors, and limited experience. Some of the most common causes include:


Speeding is a dangerous habit among young drivers. Exceeding the speed limit significantly increases the risk of accidents because it reduces reaction time and increases braking distance. Maintaining control of a vehicle becomes increasingly challenging at high speeds as well as reacting to unexpected hazards that may appear on the road. For an inexperienced driver, this can be exceptionally dangerous.

Drunk driving

The dangerous combination of alcohol and teen drivers is concerning. Common effects of alcohol on a driver are impaired judgment, problems with coordination, and reduced reaction times caused. And even though the legal drinking age is 21, that doesn't stop some teens from drinking and getting behind the wheel of a car.

Distracted driving

Technology consumes us all, but even more so for teenagers. Unfortunately, many teens fail to disconnect before getting behind the wheel. Texting, talking on the phone, taking pictures/video, and scrolling through social media takes a teen's attention away from the road. If they're not fully focused on driving, it can lead to fatal accidents.

Failure to wear seatbelts

Neglecting to wear seatbelts remains a critical issue among teen drivers, exposing them to severe injuries or even fatalities in the event of an accident. Wearing a seatbelt is one of the most important things someone can do to help prevent injury in the event of a crash. Unfortunately, too many teens decide not to use their safety belts, putting themselves at risk.

Take action with a South Carolina car accident attorney

If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident, Twenge + Twombley Law Firm is here to protect your rights. Our team of experienced car accident attorneys is committed to holding negligent drivers responsible for their actions and fighting for the compensation our clients deserve.

We stand up for crash victims and understand what it takes to get real results. Our South Carolina law firm offers legal representation to clients in Beaufort, Bluffton, Hilton Head Island, and other communities throughout the Lowcountry.

To see how we can help with your potential legal case, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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