An Anderson County teen was killed in a car accident over Memorial Day weekend. The 18-year-old was driving home from work when she lost control of her car and hit an SUV. The accident killed her before rescue crews got to the scene. The teen was the mother of a three-month-old son. Her family is grieving after the accident and has sworn to preserve her memory for her son. Many of her friends are also struggling with the loss and turning to each other and the deceased teen’s Facebook page to share memories.
100 Deadliest Days
Unfortunately, the teen probably will not be the only teen killed in a car accident this summer. The American Automobile Association (AAA) calls the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the “100 deadliest days” because that is when there is a marked increase in teen driving fatalities.
AAA cites the summer as the period of time that teens drive the most, which makes sense since teens are out of school and the summer weather means that everyone is more likely to travel. According to the government’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, in 2013 there was a 43 percent increase in teen driver and passenger fatalities over the summer, as compared to the rest of the year.
AAA is trying to make parents and teen drivers more aware of the 100 deadliest days and taking safety precautions to keep accidents involving teen drivers to a minimum. Jennifer Ryan, AAA Director of State Relations, says “Everyone has an incentive to keep teen drivers safe during the summer—and all year long—because it makes roads safer for everyone.”
There is good news when it comes to teen drivers. Thanks in part to AAA’s efforts, over the past 20 years there has been an approximately 50 percent decrease in teen car accident fatalities.
Safety Tips for Teen Drivers
The 100 deadliest days for teen drivers does not have to be so deadly. There are safe driving tips that are targeted at teen drivers that can help to reduce accidents and fatalities. Below are some tips from a number of different teen driving sources.
- Put Your Phone Away! Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents. Texting or talking while driving is extremely dangerous. Studies have found that being on the phone while driving is the equivalent of driving drunk. There is no need to even have your phone out when you are driving. Keep your phone in your bag in the backseat so that you are not tempted to answer it or send texts. If you do need to make a call or send or read a text, pull over somewhere safe and turn your car off before you use your phone.
- Buckle Up – Seatbelts are a very important piece of safety equipment in cars and can help to save lives. Make sure that you and your passengers are all wearing seatbelts, and refuse to drive anyone who refuses. According to Consumer Reports, 60 percent of teenagers were not wearing their seatbelts at the time the crashes that killed them.
- Take a Safe Driving Course – Most areas have safe driving courses that any driver can take to help improve his or her driving. Some car insurance companies even offer discounts for people who complete these courses. As a teen driver you will not have much experience driving yet. A safe driving course can help give you the tools you need to stay safe on the road even as a new driver.
- Minimize Distractions – While all drivers should minimize distractions, this is especially important for teen drivers because they are just starting to get used to driving at all. DMV.org puts it this way: “As an inexperienced driver, you are more apt to lose control of your car. Distractions can significantly increase the chances that you 1) do not notice impending danger or notice it too late and 2) lose the ability to control the vehicle.” Teen drivers should make sure they don’t mess with the radio or eat or drink while driving.
- Limit Passengers – Speaking of distractions, many drivers get distracted by other passengers in the car. As a new driver you should limit your passengers and drive by yourself as much as possible. The more teens in a car, the higher risk that the car will be in an accident.
- Obey the Speed Limit – Speed limits are very important and they are set for a reason. Speed limits indicate what is a safe speed in normal conditions for the area. If there is bad weather or other dangerous conditions, make sure you take this into account when determining your speed. Make sure you stay in the flow of traffic.
- Avoid Driving in Inclement Weather – Bad weather can be dangerous for even the most experienced drivers. Teen drivers should stay home if possible when there is bad weather, or when bad weather is expected. Road conditions can change rapidly during rain or snow and you need to pay attention to what the current conditions may be like.
- Do Not Drink or Use Drugs and Drive – As you hopefully know, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol when driving is incredibly dangerous, not to mention illegal. Teens especially need to make sure to only drive sober, including legally obtained prescription and over the counter drugs. Many medications have warnings about driving heavy machinery after taking the medication. Beware of these warnings and do not drive until you know what the medications do to you.
- Beware of Fatigue– Driving while tired is a major cause of accidents. Teen drivers should assess whether they are too tired to drive and make alternate arrangements if they are fatigued.
Greenville, South Carolina Car Accident Attorneys
If you have been involved in a car accident, whether with a teen driver or not, you should contact a knowledgeable car accident attorney as soon as possible to make sure that your rights are protected and that you can recover damages for any injuries you may have. Experienced Greenville, South Carolina car accident attorneys at the law offices of Double Aught Injury Lawyers can help you get what you are entitled to.