During the summer months, there are more young drivers on the road and an increased risk of car accidents involving teenage operators. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, fatal wrecks involving teen drivers increase by about 15% on average.
The deadly period has been dubbed the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer," as teenage drivers (age 16-19) are at a heightened risk of getting into crashes.
In 2021, AAA Texas released a report that showed teen drivers in Texas were more involved in fatal crashes than in any other state. According to the report, there were 2,318 traffic deaths involving teen drivers in Texas from 2010 to 2019.
The report says the three main driving behaviors that result in teen driver fatalities are:
- Distracted driving - Police reports show that around 6 out of 10 accidents involving teen drivers are caused by distractions.
- Not wearing seatbelts - 60% of teen driver fatalities in 2015 were from not buckling up.
- Speeding - In 30% of fatal teen driver crashes, speeding was a factor
The figures are shocking, and the Texas Department of Transportation says there is a lot of work to be done to address the problem.
"We remind adults out there that if you have a teen driver, set a good example and ride with them. Especially during nighttime hours, you have to remember that these drivers are inexperienced," said Sgt. Bryan Washko, of the Texas Department of Public Safety. "They are new to this, and it takes several years to become a good driver. Just because they have a driver's license, remember that does not make them a good driver. That comes with years of experience."
Fatal crashes in Texas
Last year, 4,480 people lost their lives to traffic accidents on Texas roads. It was the deadliest year for traffic accidents since 1981, when there were 4,701 roadway fatalities in the Lone Star State.
Data published on KCEN-TV shows that most of the fatalities were from reckless driving behavior. In 2021, 1,522 people were killed due to accidents involving speeding, and 1,219 people lost their lives due to accidents involving passengers and drivers not wearing their seatbelts.
Safe driving tips for teens and adults
Educating teens about safe driving is crucial, especially in the summer months. Teens are out of school and driving more often. To ensure your teens have a safe summer, follow these tips.
- Be cautious of speeding. Excessive speeding is dangerous and aggressive driving behavior that can cause fatal car accidents. Driving the speed limit and taking it slow saves lives and prevents severe injuries.
- Focus on the road. Do not text and drive. Teens are more observant than you may think and will model what they see. Save your calls, texts, and emails for before or after your trip. Practice what you preach and put your phone away when you're behind the wheel.
- Buckle up. Wearing your seatbelt will set a good example for your teen driver, but it's also critical to your safety. A seatbelt can keep you from hitting your head on the steering wheel in the event of a collision and prevent you from being ejected from your vehicle (the majority of people who are ejected in crashes suffer fatal injuries).
Get help from an experienced car accident attorney
Whether you were hit by a teen driver or you have a teenager who was injured in an accident caused by someone else, it's important to know your legal rights and options after a serious crash. Insurance companies are notorious for delaying, disputing, and denying claims, and if you give them an opening, they will find a way to pay you as little money as possible—if anything at all.
That's why you need an experienced car accident lawyer to protect your rights and aggressively advocate for the financial compensation you're entitled to.
Attorney John R. Solis has been fighting for families in Laredo and across Texas for years, and crash victims know they can trust our law firm to protect their rights and fight for the compensation they deserve.
If you've been injured, don't go it alone. Get justice with John. To find out more about how we can help you, contact us today for a free consultation.