Florida parents of teenage drivers should be aware of an uptick in fatal teen-involved crashes that takes place each year during the summertime. Known as summer’s “100 Deadliest Days,” the stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day is an especially dangerous time to be on the road because more of the state and nation’s inexperienced teenagers are spending time on the nation’s roads.
Per the Florida Department of Transportation, more than 7,000 road deaths occurred during 100 Deadliest Days stretches between 2010 and 2019.
How often teenagers are crashing
In 2018, teen drivers across the nation got into about 955,913 car wrecks, which resulted in 4,000 traffic fatalities and about 359,268 injuries. Florida has more than 400,000 licensed teenage drivers, and in 2018, those drivers had 59,301 crashes that produced 2,256 serious injuries and 290 road deaths. Research also shows that Fridays were the most common day for teen drivers to crash.
Why teenagers are crashing
Many of the fatal and nonfatal crashes involving teenagers across the nation share similar characteristics. A lack of experience is a big one. Many teen driver-involved wrecks also involve a lack of seat belt use and driver distraction. While many different distractions diver a teen driver’s attention away from the task at hand, research shows that other teenage passengers are a notable one. Studies show that when a teenage driver has a passenger present, the passenger being there makes the driver two-and-a-half times more likely to take risks behind the wheel.
Parents looking to help protect their teens and others on the road may want to limit their teens’ nighttime driving and set restrictions when it comes to who they may have as passengers in their cars.