The 100 deadliest days

 May 17, 2019     UFG Insurance    Auto 


The arrival of summer is a cause for excitement among many, especially teenagers who are released from the obligations of school. They might celebrate their newfound freedom tooling around with their friends in cars and trucks, some with drivers’ licenses fresh off the presses.

Unfortunately, their freedom has a high cost. The period between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays is known as the “100 Deadliest Days.” During this time, we often see an increase in fatal automobile accidents.

According to Dr. David Yang of the AA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “The number of fatal crashes involving teen drivers during the summer is an important traffic safety concern and research shows that young drivers are at greater risk and have higher crash rates compared to older and more experienced drivers.”

Let’s examine some of the root causes of these elevated safety concerns, and consider steps we can take to mitigate those risks.

The new kids

It may seem obvious, but a main reason teen driving is extremely risky is their collective lack of experience. The popular culture author Malcolm Gladwell developed a theory that it takes approximately 10,000 hours to become an expert at a given activity, and most teens just haven’t had the opportunity yet to become experts.

Fatal crashes are three times more likely to occur for teen drivers – that’s at any time of the year – and in the summer they are behind the wheel more often, less restricted by the schedule and demands of school. 

I didn’t catch that

Did something distract you?

When you’re reading, you can simply go back and absorb the text again, but distractions can be fatal for drivers.

In 2017, alone, there were 297 auto-fatalities that involved a distracted teen. 229 of those fatalities were for people between the ages of 15 and 19. Teen distracted driving has dangerous consequences for everyone on the road.

The most likely culprits when it comes to teen driving distractions are smartphones and other passengers. Of course, this is not exclusive to teens. Many adults have been caught texting and driving, and of course a parent could easily have their focus pulled by a backseat sibling squabble, or any other number of potential distractions. However, this may come back to the question of experience - adults have survived more distraction battles over time than their younger counterparts. The same situation could prove fatal to a less seasoned driver. 

It doesn’t click

The last source of danger we’ll highlight is the use of seat belts. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use among any age group. Maybe the cliché about young people believing in their own invincibility has some merit.

According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent,” when used properly.

A seat belt should be used any time a car is in motion. Parents should model proper auto safety behaviors for young drivers, and frequently monitor their teens to make sure that safety rules and regulations are being adhered to.

Parents just do understand 

Parents are tasked with myriad responsibilities in preparing their children for adulthood, and even though a teen driver may seem nearer to full maturity, they still need to be educated. Modeling good road behavior and monitoring a teen’s driving can go a long way toward preventing catastrophic events.

And teens must be encouraged to slow down. Again, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “speeding (is) a factor in more than half (52 percent) of fatal crashes with a teen behind the wheel.”

Another way that parents can increase safety for their children is to minimize nighttime driving. The CDC claims that, “driving at night increases the risk for fatal crashes (with) all drivers, especially for young, inexperienced drivers.” While some states already place restrictions on driving times based on age, parents can increase safety by extending those restrictions further.

Are you ready to lend a hand in making the 100 Deadliest Days just a little bit safer?

Take the pledge and commit to eliminating distracted driving. A safe driving record both saves lives, and saves money by lowering your rates for personal car insurance. Our agents can give you more than just car insurance quotes, they can give you tips that might save a life. Contact us today!


The information provided is for informational purposes only. Every attempt is made to ensure that the information is accurate; however, it is not intended to replace professional advice. For more information, see Disclaimers & Other Legal Documents.