Each year when Texas schools let out, an influx of teen motorists take to the state’s roadways. Teens lack the behind-the-wheel experience that older motorists have, and many of them also engage in risky driving behaviors that endanger not only themselves but everyone else on the road. Because teen drivers are such a significant threat to public safety, many refer to the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when so many of them are driving, as summer’s “100 Deadliest Days.”
Per KWTX, almost 3,500 people have died in teen driver-involved crashes during 100 Deadliest Day stretches over the past five years. Many fatal crashes involving teen drivers share similar characteristics in common, some of which are as follows.
When teen drivers have other teenagers along for the ride, the presence of those teens increases the odds of a fatal crash. Teen drivers with teen passengers are 2.5 times as likely as those without teen passengers to engage in dangerous driving behaviors. Also, the more teenage passengers a teen driver has in the car, the more likely the driver is to take unnecessary risks.
Many summertime car wrecks involving teen motorists also involve alcohol or drug use. In 2016, one in five fatal crashes involving teenage motorists also involved alcohol.
Cellphone use is another frequent factor in fatal and nonfatal crashes involving teens. Research shows that teen drivers are six times more likely to crash when using a cell phone and 23 times more likely to crash when texting and driving.
Parents of teen drivers may be able to help reduce crash statistics by limiting when their children may drive and who they may have in their cars.