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As families attend pool parties, BBQ’s, and prepare to send their kids off to college, the languid days of summer can easily lull us into a happy state of complacency. However, when it comes to our teenagers getting behind the wheel this summer, the sentiment should be anything but.
On average, 260 teens are fatally injured in car crashes each month during summer. This is an increase of 26 percent compared with the other months of the year. Because teen drivers are already three times more likely than experienced drivers to be involved in a fatal crash, adding risky driving behaviors to the mix is a daunting prospect.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has named distracted driving one of several risky driving behaviors. Unfortunately, in 2016 distracted driving claimed almost 4,000 lives. Teens were the largest group of distracted drivers reported at the time of the fatal wrecks.
When most of us think of distracted driving, we assume the definition is limited to texting or talking on the cell phone. However, distracted driving includes eating, changing the radio station, engaging with the GPS, and even talking to others in the vehicle. Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s attention off the road. When it comes to an inexperienced driver, even something like talking to passenger can put lives at risk.
The rates of fatal accidents caused by teen drunk drivers are declining. Teens caught driving with alcohol in their system can face jail, fines, and loss of license. For those under 21, a Delaware law enforcement officer can issue a DUI for a BAC of .02 percent.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is involved in an ongoing campaign to educate all Americans about the dangers of risky driving. By forming partnerships with state and local police, the NHTSA works to enforce distracted and drunk driving laws.
Parents can join this fight to save lives and help their teens stay safe this summer by keeping the lines of communication open:
If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving or drunk driving accident, contact the Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. To schedule a free consultation, call 302-427-0099 today or contact us online. From our offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford Delaware, we represent individuals and families upstate and downstate Delaware.