100 Deadliest Days: Keeping Teen Drivers Safe During Summer

During the 100 days of summer – between Memorial Day and Labor Day – the number of teens killed in car crashes increases 26 percent compared with the other months of the year.

“Summer is a time for teens to relax and have fun, but that doesn’t apply to the time they spend behind the wheel. Young drivers are at a greater risk for crashes compared to more experienced drivers,” said Marie Crew, director of Safe Kids Alabama at Children’s of Alabama. “Parents and other adults can model safe driving behavior, encouraging teen drivers how to become better drivers, keeping the roads safer for everyone.”

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, factors contributing to teen driver crashes include:

  • Not wearing seat belts – more than half of teens killed in crashes weren’t wearing their seat belt
  • Texting while driving – at 55 mph, that’s like travelling the length of a football field blindfolded
  • Afraid and not speaking up – half of teen passengers report feeling unsafe riding with a driver who isn’t alert; one-third of teens feel unsafe riding with a parent
  • Too many passengers – when two or more teens ride in a vehicle with a teen driver, the risk of a fatal crash can double to triple; many states – including Alabama –  that limit the maximum number of passengers
  • Drinking and driving – 15 percent of drivers aged 15-19 who were killed in crashes had a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher
  • Driving when it’s dark – the risk of a fatal crash at night can be more than three times higher for teens than adults
  • Speeding – more than one-third of teens killed in crashes were speeding
In Alabama, the Graduated Driver License Law is a mandatory restriction in place for inexperienced drivers. One of the requirements is that a new driver may not have more than one non-family passenger in the vehicle with them other than the parent, guardian or a supervising licensed driver at least 21 years of age.
Children’s of Alabama offers links to the Graduated Driver License Law, the Teen Driving Agreement and more resources for parents and teens. Go to to access.

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