Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and many teenagers in Oklahoma will have more free time as schools recess in the coming days and weeks. This also means that teens will spend more time behind the wheel, which can translate to more car accidents.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, accidents involving teen drivers spike during this time of year. Thus, Memorial Day doesn't just mean the beginning of summer, but it also marks the start to what AAA dubs the "100 Deadliest Days."
AAA data shows that during the past five years, more than 5,000 people have died in accidents involving a teen driver. According to a comprehensive AAA study, almost 60 percent of teen crashes involve driver distraction.
The most common distraction among teen drivers, which is involved in about 15 percent of the crashes, occurs when a teen is talking to or doing something else with another person in the vehicle. Close behind that is cell phone use, which is involved in 12 percent of teen crashes. The third most prevalent distraction for teens is looking at or attending to something in the car, like the radio.
When a victim suffers injury in an accident due to the negligence of another, they can take legal action against the negligent driver. In the case of a fatal accident, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim.
Just because teen drivers may be less experienced and more prone to distracted driving does not mean that they get a pass when it comes to the legal consequences of a fatal accident. Summer can be a fun time for Ponca City teenagers, but they shouldn't let distracted driving ruin the summer for themselves and others.
Source: AAA.com, "AAA Reveals Top Driving Distractions for Teens as "100 Deadliest Days"," Tamra Johnson, Accessed on June 2, 2016