Summertime: the weather is warm, teens are out of school, there are several long holiday weekends and many Americans like to travel and take vacations. Unfortunately, all of this adds up to more people, and more inexperienced drivers, on the roads. Crowded streets and drivers who don’t make smart choices have resulted in the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day earning the nickname of the “100 Deadliest Days.”
In 2012, almost 1,000 people were killed in crashes with teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days. Victims who are involved in an accident need to understand their rights to pursue a claim for damages from the motorist who caused the collision. A Janesville auto accident lawyer can represent those who have been hurt as well as family members of victims killed in collisions.
Avoiding Motor Vehicle Collisions During the 100 Deadliest Days
According to CNN, teen drivers made up around half of the 1,000 car accident victims during the 100 Deadliest Days of 2012. There are myriad reasons why the death rate goes up during summer including the fact that teens spend more time on the roads when they are not in school. Young people may have long unsupervised days while their parents are at work and may drive on unfamiliar roads as they check out local hot spots and popular destinations.
One of the biggest reasons for the accident increase during the summer, however, is that teens typically have more passengers in the car when they drive during this time of year.
While safety experts have long been aware that passengers can be a distraction and can cause young drivers to take more risks, new research is showing just how dangerous extra passengers can be. The vice president of strategic initiatives for the National Safety Council has indicated that having multiple passengers in the car may be an even bigger risk factor for teen collisions than texting. In fact, passengers may increase the risk of a teenage driver crashing by at least 44 percent.
More than 40 states throughout the country have graduated licensing laws that limit when a teenager can start to drive with friends in the car. In Wisconsin, for example, teens under age 19 must get a probationary driver license which has restrictions on when teens can drive and how many passengers they can have with them. Teens are not allowed to drive between midnight and 5:00 a.m. with a probationary license unless they are traveling between home and school and teens are limited to having only one passenger in the car with them other than family members.
Unfortunately, enforcing the laws restricting passengers in car with teen drivers is difficult because police are not always around to pull over young motorists and because law enforcement officers may be unable to tell at a glance whether a driver is a young beginner or whether people in the car are family members. Parents are the most effective enforcers of teen driver safety rules and should ensure they set restrictions for their children during the summer.
When teens cause injury to passengers or other motorists on the road, Janesville auto accident lawyer Steve Caya at Nowlan & Mouat LLP, can provide help to obtain compensation for losses and damages.