The "100 Deadliest Days" for teen drivers is a term used to describe the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day in the United States when the number of fatal car collisions involving teenagers increases significantly. This period can be applied to Canadian teen drivers as the Victoria Day long weekend falls on the previous weekend to Memorial Day, often referred to in Canada as the May 24 weekend. During this time, teen and young drivers face increased road risks due to various factors, making it necessary to highlight these concerns to promote safe teen driving habits. As school comes to a close, the roads will see more teen drivers often driving with their friends at all times of the day, increasing the chances of a potential collision.
Risky Teen Driving Behaviours
Teenagers and young drivers are more likely to engage in risky behaviours while driving including distracted driving, speeding and stunt driving, and not using their seatbelts. Factors such as peer pressure, inexperience and the lack of awareness of the potential dangers all contribute to an increased risk for teen and young drivers that can result in devastating consequences.
According to numbers from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 100 Deadliest Days are responsible for a disproportionate number of fatal collisions involving teenagers. In 2020, for example, over 1,600 people died in collisions involving young drivers during these 100 days. These numbers represent a 17% increase compared to other times of the year.
Destructive Behaviours - Distracted Driving, Speeding, Lack of Seatbelt Use
Distracted driving, primarily due to mobile phone use, is one of the leading causes of collisions among teenage drivers. Texting, talking on the phone, taking photos, selfies and using social media while driving take away attention from the road and significantly increase the risk of a collision. Despite educational campaigns and stricter laws to combat this issue, this behaviour continues and requires continuous reinforcement about the dangers and consequences of distracted driving due to cell phone use when driving.
Speeding is another significant factor contributing to fatal collisions during the 100 Deadliest Days. Teenagers often underestimate the risks of driving above the speed limit or travelling too fast for road conditions. Raising awareness about the importance of adhering to speed limits and educating young drivers about the potential consequences of speeding can help reduce these incidents.
The lack of seatbelt usage among teenagers is also a concern during this period. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2019, 43% of teenagers aged 16-19 who died in car collisions were not wearing seatbelts.
Encouraging the consistent use of seatbelts and implementing driver education programs, that highlight the dangers of distracted driving, speeding and the effectiveness of seatbelts in preventing injuries and fatalities, can significantly reduce the number of deaths involving young drivers.
Driver Education is Vital to Safe Driving Habits
While parents and schools can assist in teaching young drivers the dangers of distracted driving, speeding and seatbelt non-use, driver education programs such as Young Drivers of Canada play a vital role in teaching safe driving habits to teen drivers. Young Driver's comprehensive driver's education teaches teen drivers proactive driving habits that enable teen drivers to spot problems and avoid collisions. Skills taught include risk perception, evasive driving manoeuvres, gravel shoulder recovery, head-on collision avoidance, and more. As Canada's most reputable driving school, Young Drivers of Canada takes pride in knowing it has taught over 1.3 million students in Canada. To register today, please visit www.yd.com
The 100 Deadliest Days for teen drivers pose significant risks on the road. Inexperience, risky behaviour and poor judgement make this period particularly dangerous. By promoting driver education programs and raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and speeding, we can work towards reducing the number of fatalities and ensuring the safety of young drivers!