The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is commonly known as the “100 Deadliest Days” on America’s roadways. Each year there is a predictable increase in automobile fatalities among teenagers during this period. Many regions experience a 14 to 25 percent spike in summer traffic deaths. The problem is often particularly acute in popular tourist and recreation areas, such as beach resort towns. Despite widespread traffic safety initiatives, there has not been much success in reducing teenage fatalities during the 100 deadliest days.
Teenagers are more likely to be involved in summer crashes for any of these reasons:
- Increased frequency of driving — Teenagers out of school on summer vacation have much more free time. Many of them will be spending that time with their friends and be out on the roadways. As a group, teenagers are among the least safe drivers. They have had a reputation for youthful indiscretion and for inviting danger. Having friends in the vehicle increases potential distractions, especially since younger passengers sometimes act recklessly.
- Impairment — Many teenagers experiment with alcohol and/or drugs. Some of these younger people drive while under the influence. This is of course a grave hazard to themselves and everyone else out on the road. Impairment is not limited to substance abuse. Teenagers like to stay out late and socialize and may become simply too tired to drive safely.
- Inexperience — Most teenagers do not have sufficient experience to be fully proficient drivers. Safe driving is a skill that improves incrementally over time. Driving requires focus and the ability to react quickly to changing conditions and circumstances. Most teenagers have not developed the situational awareness and response reflexes that help drivers avoid or adapt to unsafe conditions on the roadways.
- Congestion — During the deadly 100 days, there is typically more traffic. There are more people out of school for summer vacation. The roads are busier with cars, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. In addition, roadway usage can be restricted. Certain road maintenance and repairs that cannot be done in cold weather proceed during the summer months. These projects put a strain on road capacities and often lead to traffic tie-ups. More congestion generally equates to more accidents.
For all these reasons, the summer driving environment tends to be more dangerous for teen drivers, for passengers riding with teen drivers and for other motorists. Sometimes teenage drivers get into accidents with other teens and the fault must be apportioned. Anyone who is injured in an accident should immediately consult a qualified car accident lawyer to preserve their rights.
Located in Ridgewood, Seigel Law is one of northern New Jersey’s premier personal injury law firms. Our attorneys have deep experience obtaining compensation for people seriously hurt in auto accidents. We will give your case prompt and thorough attention and strive to achieve the best results possible. Feel free to call 201-444-4000 or contact us online for a consultation.