As the school year ends and teens look forward to their well-earned freedom, they should do so with eyes wide open regarding the risks that come with the "100 deadliest days of summer." This term refers to the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, encompassing the summer months when teen-involved car accidents dramatically increase.
100 Deadliest Days Statistics
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the number of fatal car crashes involving teenagers rises by approximately 16% during this period compared to the rest of the year.
When looking at nationwide statistics from 2011 to 2020, AAA found that:
Each year, an average of 2,063 teen drivers are involved in fatal crashes; 642 of those accidents (31%) occurred during the 100 deadliest days.
More than 7,124 people died in teen-related summertime crashes from 2011 to 2020. That’s more than seven people a day each summer compared to the rest of the year (six people/day).
What Makes the 100 Deadliest Days so Deadly?
There are multiple factors that contribute to the heightened risks teen drivers face during the summertime.
Seasonal Road Hazards
With summer comes an increase in the number of certain road hazards that teen drivers will encounter, including construction projects, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Additionally, teens are more likely to be sharing the summertime road with vacationers — out-of-town drivers who, being unfamiliar with their surroundings, might be more likely to make unpredictable and unsafe maneuvers.
Increased Drive Time
Freed from school-day schedules and obligations, teens have more time to be out on the road. That additional drive time equates to increased risk. Additionally, every summer day is like a weekend, meaning teens are more likely to be on the road at night (a statistically riskier time to be driving) than they would be if they had to get up for classes the next morning.
Driving as a means to an end — getting from point A to point B — is an example of the kind of intentional driving that is likely to involve a driver who is focused on the task at hand and is generally engaged in safe driving behaviors.
The same is not necessarily true for the teen driver who gets behind the wheel for the sheer joy of it. For them, it’s about the journey, not the destination. And when it’s about the journey, it’s about what can be done to make that journey enjoyable — efforts that can inadvertently result in distracted driving, especially when friends are brought along for the ride.
According to AAA, when teen drivers are accompanied exclusively by teen passengers, vehicle fatality rates go up by 51%! So, while joyriding is not inherently a bad thing, if care is not taken by the teen driver, it can lead to something that is the very opposite of joy.
How Drivers Education Can Prepare You for the 100 Deadliest Days
Many teens believe that summertime is a good time to get their drivers education taken care of — and they’re not wrong. In fact, their timing couldn’t be better! A sound drivers education course will equip them with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to navigate the road safely during those 100 deadliest days of summer.
Benefits you can expect from a summertime driver's ed course:
Learning the Rules of the Road: This includes traffic laws, defensive driving techniques, and critical decision-making skills.
Getting Practical Experience: Providing hands-on practice behind the wheel that allows teens to become familiar with driving maneuvers and gain confidence in various road scenarios.
Gaining Hazard Awareness: Learning to recognize potential hazards and develop strategies to avoid dangerous situations.
Developing Responsible Attitudes: Teaching and reinforcing the importance of responsible driving behaviors, including obeying traffic laws, using seatbelts, and avoiding risky behaviors such as distracted driving, speeding, and impaired driving.
Why Aceable’s Drivers Ed Is a Teen’s Best Choice
Rare is the teen who, upon finishing a school year, would want to jump right back into a classroom. Fortunately, with Aceable’s online drivers ed course, you don’t have to.
With our mobile platform and portable content, the world is your classroom. And your lessons can be started and stopped at your leisure — whenever, wherever. You even have the freedom to move from laptop to tablet to smartphone, knowing that your progress on one device will be saved and ready for you when you move to the next.
Of course, the convenience offered is only of value because the course itself is superior. Aceable employs instructional design best practices to ensure that our driver’s ed courses are effective teaching tools. We work hard to create fun, engaging, and instructionally sound courses for our drivers ed students. We want being an Aceable driver to be a badge of honor! Our Learning Experience team is deeply committed to making our courses the best in the biz.
Ready to start your drivers ed journey? We’d love for you to join us!