Teens have finished classes and taken their final tests and now take the summer off from school. While they may dedicate themselves to a summer job, they will likely spend more time with friends, staying up late and having fun. Unfortunately, this to-do list can prove problematic or even deadly.
Typical illegal behavior
According to the AAA, more teenagers drive during the summer, and parents have more to worry about. Typical illegal behavior that law enforcement looks for includes:
- Distraction: Groups of friends driving from one place to another can distract the driver. Common examples include talking to passengers or using devices while driving.
- No seatbelt: Groups of friends mean passengers will sit in the back seat. Those who do are less inclined to buckle up (60% of all teen driver-related deaths were not buckled, including half of the deaths in the back seat).
- Speeding: Speeding is one of the most common moving violations and is attributed to nearly one-third of all teen-driving-related deaths.
- Impaired driving: According to the CDC, 16.7% of U.S. high school students rode at least once with a driver who drank alcohol in the last 30 days.
According to the AAA, the dangers of risky teen driving in the summer have led to 7,300 teen deaths between Memorial Day and Labor from 2012 to 2021. Aware of the problem, state and federal authorities launched a coordinated safety campaign called the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer.
Parents have a say
The National Highway Traffic Safety Agency advises parents to talk to their teen drivers about safe driving habits. The results may lessen the number of moving violations and save lives.