Summer’s here, school’s out and young drivers are on the road. This time of year is known as the “100 Deadliest Days” for teens – the days following Memorial Day and lasting until Labor Day when teens are on the roads in the highest numbers of the year. During this period in 2012, nearly 1,000 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers. In fact, on average, 260 teens are killed in car crashes over each summer month – an increase of 26% over the other months of the year.
According to the National Safety Council, possible reasons for the spike in summer crashes include:
- Summer driving tends to be more recreational and not as purposeful, such as driving to see friends rather than driving to school or work;
- Teens could be carrying friends more frequently and passengers increase the risk of a fatal crash involving a teen driver by at least 44 percent;
- Teens may stay out later at night, when crash risk is higher;
- With warmer weather and clearer conditions, teens may be tempted to speed;
- More drivers are on the roads.
We ask that parents take the time this summer to remind teen drivers that:
- Having too many passengers in the car is a dangerous distraction;
- Cell phones should be put away while they are driving and they should NEVER text while driving;
- Anything that distracts them from driving is a danger;
- Impaired driving is not only illegal, it can be deadly.
On July 1, the state of New Hampshire’s hands-free law goes into effect. Under the law, the use of hand-held devices – such as phones, GPS and mp3 players – will be against the law. Hands-free devices – such as those using Bluetooth technology – are permissible. However, drivers under the age of 18 will not be allowed to use any electronic devices while driving, whether they are hands-free or not (unless it is an emergency).
Violation of the law will result in fines, suspension or revocation for teens. But more importantly, using electronic devices while driving can result in death. When texting, a driver is distracted for 5 seconds. To put that in perspective, at 50 mph, you can drive the length of a football field in 5 seconds.
We care about your kids and we love to see them out and about in the community. One place we DON’T want to see them is here at the funeral home, the victim of a fatal crash.