Every summer, tourists pack Virginia’s scenic roads. Between the gorgeous beaches and rich history, Virginia makes a popular vacation spot for U.S. residents. With more tourists comes more traffic and, when combined with teens out of school and not working, makes for dangerous roadways.
Known as the “100 Deadliest Days,” the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day sees a significant increase in traffic fatalities, especially among teens. So, what can a parent do to help keep their kids safe?
Protect teenage drivers during the summer
The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that during the 100 Deadliest Days over ten years, over 8,300 people lost their lives in car accidents with teen drivers. In 2016, American roadways claimed the lives of nearly ten people every day.
With the onset of the pandemic and high unemployment rates, some experts believe Virginia’s roadways may become more dangerous in 2020. The Executive Director of AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, Dr. David Yang, says, “[F]or every mile driven, new teen drivers…are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to adults.” When surveyed, 70% of teen drivers admitted to the following high-risk behaviors:
- Driving 10 mph over the speed limit in a residential zone
- Texting and driving
- Driving while drowsy
- Driving without a seatbelt
- Running a red light
AAA officials say that parents can help teens curb these dangerous activities. Parents who practice the following may have a better chance of teaching their teen safe driving habits:
- Talk with driving-age teens about the dangers of speeding, texting and driving while intoxicated.
- Teach children by example and practice safe driving habits
- Draft a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement that outlines expectations and responsibilities
- Log 50 hours of supervised driving with the teen
In case of a crash, consult a local attorney
If you were injured by a teenage driver, you should consider reaching out to a local attorney. An attorney can assess the accident case, work with insurance companies and draft a comprehensive settlement agreement.