The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

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The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

Another summer is upon us and despite the pandemic, many of us are still making plans for vacations and summer fun. We Save Lives would like to remind you that we are entering the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” This may be the time to relax and plan for summer fun but IT IS NOT the time to relax while driving, especially for your teens. Just look at some of the facts:

  • Motor Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.
  • Teens have the highest crash rate of any age group.
  • An average 260 teens are killed in car crashes each month during the summer, an increase of 26% compared with the other months of the year.
  • 60% of teen crashes today are caused by distracted driving.
  • Surprisingly, the top distraction for teens is other passengers, accounting for 15% of teen driver crashes, compared to 12 % caused by texting or talking on a cell phone.
  • For every 100,000 Americans under the age of 21, 1.2 people were killed in drunk driving fatalities in 2015.
  • “Not only are teens themselves more likely to die in car crashes, they also have the highest rates of crash involvement resulting in the deaths of others, including passengers, pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles.” – Newsday

deadliest days of summer

What does this mean for us as we watch our young people load up the car and drive off to their destination? It means we must remain vigilant and ensure that we have provided our teens with every safety tip known to man, woman and then some. Sometimes, it takes “a little extra courage” to remind our teen that too many passengers are dangerous, the cell phone should be turned off while driving, that other distractions can be just as deadly, and that impaired driving is not only dangerous; it is a crime.

Getting arrested for driving drugged or drinking can ruin the potential for a college education, a good job, and increase your insurance, not to mention the fine, lawyer’s fees, and more. There are some practical things to consider that we often forget in our hurry to see young people have fun.

Parents: It also means that we should not be serving alcohol or other drugs at parties, and we, too must eliminate distractions behind the wheel and always drive sober.  According to the National Safety Council a recent survey reported that 91 percent of parents who use their cell phones do it in front of their teens knowing that they are “one of their teens’ primary driving teachers.”

Give them permission and encouragement to call you if they are in a potentially bad driving situation. Let them know you will pick them up without recriminations.

Empower them to show courage and decline a ride from a friend who has been drinking or taking drugs, and that driving in a car with a driver who can’t take their finger off the cell phone is not only hazardous to their friend’s health but their own. Saying “no thanks” may make the difference between life and death. Encourage them to sign the #Courageto Intervene promise.

You should also ask them to add #BUTNOTWHILEDRIVING to their mobile device. This lets their friends know they put safety before using their cell phones while driving.

Also, we can’t forget about speed limits, especially now that there may be fewer cars on the roads, basic highway safety laws and tips on what to do if a tire goes flat, etc. Unfortunately, our young drivers are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations or not recognize potentially hazardous situations than we older drivers. Life is too precious to waste it on a cell phone conversation or a drink before driving.

One other lifesaving tip, if your teen plans to go boating this summer, please make sure they use life jackets. They are as important as seatbelts in keeping them safe.

These tips can help your family have a safer summer and stay alive.

Life is too precious to waste it on a cell phone conversation or a drink before driving.

Because we care . . . . .

Candace Lightner
President of and founder of MADD

Resources: We Save Lives, Triple AAA, National Safety Council and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, (FAARS)

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