School has been out for some time, and Massachusetts’ drivers may have noticed that there are more cars on the road, especially those vehicles driven by teenagers. Now that they no longer spend their days in school and afternoons studying, teenagers are out and about enjoying their summer vacation. This means that not only are there more cars on the road, it also means there are relatively inexperienced drivers behind the wheel going on unfamiliar routes. This can cause car accidents-in fact accident numbers spike during the timeframe from Memorial Day to Labor Day, known as the 100 deadliest days of summer for teens.
According to some estimates by the AAA, there were more than 5,000 fatalities during this period across the country in the last five years. The Highway Safety Division claims that fatal car accidents involving teens increase by 43 percent during this period.
There are a number of reasons teenagers are more at risk during this time. First, they are relatively inexperienced, which means they don’t have the experience on how to react in an accident-which way to swerve to avoid an object or how to adjust speed before merging. Second, they are more easily distracted-whether by cellphones or by other passengers in the car, increasing their chances of getting involved in a crash. In addition to this, they are out at night with friends on unfamiliar roads and all these increase the likelihood of an accident.
A car accident has the ability to change not only the lives of those involved in the accident but also their loved ones. As they deal with medical bills, funeral bills, loss of wages and loss of companionship, they may feel frustrated and unable to cope with their loss. However, holding the driver who caused their accident accountable for their reckless behavior may provide them with the closure they need to move on.
Source: leavenworthtimes.com, “In-depth: Summer known as the 100 deadliest days of the year for teen drivers,” Mark Rountree, July 1, 2017