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Who is at the greatest risk for car crashes during summer?

Summer time means various things to residents in West Virginia and other states across the nation, but it often means school is out, family vacations and celebrating several national holidays with cookouts, gatherings and fireworks. While summer is a time for fun, travel and celebration, it is also a time when traffic on the roadways increase. This causes much concern for automobile collisions.

Who is at the greatest risk for car crashes during summer? During the summer months, drivers rack up more miles on the road than any other time of the year; however, the age group at the greatest accident risk during summer is teen drivers.

According to statistics, the leading cause of death for U.S. teens is car crashes. On average, roughly 260 teens are killed in car crashes during the summer months, which is a 26 percent increase when compared to the other months of the year.

A major reason why teen drivers are at such a high risk of being involved in an automobile collision is the fact that they are new drivers. They may not fully understand how risky some actions are, such as distracted driving, reckless driving, texting while driving and drinking while driving. As age increases, the risks tend to decrease for drivers. However, age is not always the determining factor for negligence behind the wheel.

How can accidents involving teen drivers be reduced? It is important that parents take some steps such as ensuring they have a safe and reliable vehicle, take a safe-driver program in addition to their driver education course, set curfews and driving restrictions, discuss the dangers of drinking and driving and being a good role model for teen drivers.

While there are means to reduce the occurrence of accidents involving teen drivers, these types of collisions unfortunately still occur. Just like any other type of motor vehicle accident, it is important to establish cause. This could help assign liability. If another driver is at fault, injured victims might be able to seek compensation for his or her injuries, losses and damages.

Source: USA Today, "AAA: Teen drivers face greatest risk in summer," Matt Schmitz, June 1, 2014

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