Summer is officially here, which marks the beginning of the 100 Deadliest Days on the road. According to AAA, the time slot between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the most dangerous time of the year for teenage drivers.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest study shows that new teenage drivers are three times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly car accident. And during these next 100 days, the risk for deadly accidents is expected to increase by 15%.
“Statistics show that teen crashes spike during the summer months because teens are out of school and on the road,” said Dr. David Yang, the executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
In 2016 alone, there were 10 deaths a day during the summer months because of inexperienced teen drivers.
Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol says it’s busier on the streets during the summer because teenagers are out of school, but there’s also been an uptick in distracted driving with drivers regardless of age.
Regional and statewide organizations have been created awareness campaigns to reduce the risk of deadly accidents on New York roads this summer.
New York State’s No Empty Chair program increases local law enforcement around school zones to be on the lookout for texting and driving. Oneida County’s program Alive at 25 requires drivers under the age of 25 who receive a traffic ticket to take a class on distracted driving behaviors.
It’s because of these kinds of programs, says Oneida County STOP DWI coordinator Tom Giruzzi, that the region hasn’t seen an increase in fatal teen car accidents recently.
But teenage drivers aren’t the only reason why the summer months are more deadly for drivers. During the summer months, traffic accidents become more common because of summer roadwork. There’s also a greater number of motorcyclists on the road.
What’s more, summer is the second-worst time of the year for deer-related car accidents. This is because summer is the time of year when young deer and separating from their mothers and mothers are looking for places to give birth.
Even without the increase in deer, drivers, and traffic, car accidents are unfortunately common on American roads. The United States averages more than 5,891,000 motor vehicle accidents each year. In 2010 alone, the total property damage costs from car accidents in the U.S. was $76.1 billion.
In fact, car accidents are one of the leading causes of child mortality after drowning, which is the second leading cause. In 2015 alone, up to 663 children under the age of 12 died in a motor vehicle accident.
Even those who survive car accidents can suffer from injuries such as whiplash, neck damage, muscle weakness, and arm or leg pain.
Musculoskeletal disorders aren’t only work-related problems either (although 1 million people did suffer from them in 2001). Musculoskeletal problems are one of the most common car accident injuries including damage to the spinal joints, discs, and vertebrae.
To stay safe on the road this summer, AAA recommends discussing risky driving behaviors with your kids and setting a good example when you’re driving. It’s also recommended to pay closer attention to the roads, expect slower traffic times, and to look twice for motorcyclists.