Summertime falls within what the American Automobile Association refers to as the “100 Deadliest Days” for driving. Beginning with Memorial Day and ending on Labor Day, AAA’s data shows an increased risk of fatal car accidents. Teenagers reflect the greatest at-risk group.
At least seven deaths occur each day during the summer in vehicle accidents involving teenaged motorists. Young drivers between the ages of 16 and 17 face three times more crash danger than experienced adults.
Speeding and distracted driving
As reported by Forbes magazine, nearly 72% of teenagers surveyed admitted to violating a traffic law or engaging in some form of risky driving behavior. Close to half of the respondents stated that they drove faster than 10 mph over the limit in a residential zone or more than 15 mph over on the freeway. A lack of experience operating a vehicle safely may tend to foster aggressive or reckless actions.
Distracted driving also reflects a growing problem. Motorists of all ages who send or read a text message while driving take their attention away from the road. Other seemingly minor moments of inattentiveness, such as adjusting a seat belt or changing the radio station, could contribute to a preventable accident.
Obeying the law and staying focused on the road
California law prohibits holding an electronic communication device while operating a vehicle. If a driver needs to make or take a call while driving, he or she must use a hands-free device, such as a headset or speaker from a docked phone. A jury may find an individual liable for injuries or a wrongful death if call records show a cellphone took a driver’s focus off the road.
Eating or drinking while driving can also lead to accidents. Taking familiar streets without needing to rely on a GPS device may help prevent the distraction of getting lost. Adjusting interior comforts such as air conditioning and seat positioning before pulling out of a parking spot could also minimize distractions.