The 100 Deadliest Days are here, and teen crashes are about to spike.
Every year, the roads get more dangerous from Memorial Day to Labor Day. As temperatures rise, so do deaths: 30% of all teen driver deaths happen during these 100 days. On average, that's seven teen deaths per day.
A lot of accidents happen because young drivers are inexperienced. They're more likely to engage in risky behaviors (often without understanding the dangers) than adult drivers. Many fiddle with their phones, get distracted by their friends, and drive impaired after summer parties.
If you're taking driver's ed, practicing driving, or taking the road test, you need to be very careful behind the wheel now.
7 Things You Must Know to Prepare for the 100 Deadliest Days
Get ready for a bumpy ride over the next 100 days. Here's what new and learning drivers need to know to stay safe.
1. Seatbelts Can Save Your Life
Even if you follow everything you learned in driver's ed, you might still get into a crash. If you do, wearing a seatbelt could save your life. Fifty-two percent of young drivers who died in crashes in 2019 were not buckled up, and 43% of high schoolers say they don't always wear a seatbelt. Not buckling up is illegal in most states, and it could cost you everything.
2. Say No to Drunk Driving
More drivers hit the road under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the 100 Deadliest Days. Thirty-one percent of all traffic deaths involved impaired drivers in 2021. Don't drive high or drunk — and don't let your friends either.
3. Phones Behind the Wheel Kill
When you pay attention to your phone, you're not paying attention to the road. If a car suddenly brakes in front of you, or if a deer crosses the road, you won't have enough time to react. Distracted driving kills, so keep your phone where you can't reach it.
4. Rest Is Your Best Friend
You might not be pulling all-nighters to study for a test, but are you getting enough rest before driving? Getting more sleep is crucial to preventing accidents, especially during the 100 Deadliest Days. Aim for 8 to 10 hours of good sleep. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as distracted driving.
5. More Passengers Are a Recipe for Disaster
Every additional teen passenger increases the risk of a car crash. That's because when you ride with your friends, you're more likely to get distracted by fun conversations and horseplay. If you can, split up your friend group into separate cars. And if you can't, make sure everyone knows how to be a safe passenger.
6. Avoid Driving During Dangerous Times of Day
Some times of day are more dangerous than others. For example, rush hour comes with a lot of challenges. While you're still a novice driver, consider staying off the road during these periods.
7. The Roads Will Get Better
Learning to drive during the 100 Deadliest Days can feel scary, especially after reading through all these stats. But don't let that driving anxiety stop you from conquering your freedom. The roads will get less dangerous after Labor Day, even though there will always be challenges driving during the school year. But by then, you'll have more experience and know what to do.
Learn Pro Safe Driving Skills This Summer
The more practice you get behind the wheel, the more secure you'll feel in your skills. But if you need a boost of confidence to feel safe on the road right now, Aceable's driver's ed course can help. You'll learn all kinds of safety tips that even some experienced drivers don't know, so you can make it through summer unharmed.