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Take caution during the "100 deadliest days on the road"

As the Independence Day holiday nears, the summer road season is in full swing across Wisconsin. School is out, the pace is more relaxed, and it's the time to make memories with loved ones. For many, this means family vacations to Wisconsin Dells, area lakes and rivers, or other popular destinations around the state. For teenagers, though, the summertime represents something much more sinister.

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the "100 deadliest days on the road for teens," with good reason. More teens are killed in auto accidents in this time than any other during the year. According to information provided by the American Automobile Association (AAA)'s Foundation for Traffic Safety, the average number of teen deaths from car crashes climbs approximately 16 percent per day during this dangerous period compared to other times of the year.

Why are teens so susceptible to deadly summertime car crashes?

There are many reasons why car accidents involving teen drivers (between the ages of 16 and 19) increase during the summer months. For one thing, there are more teen drivers on the road in the summer because they aren't at school during the day. Also, there are more parties during the summer months, some of which serve alcohol to young drivers. A lack of experience, combined with the dulled senses and slowed reflexes caused by intoxication, is a recipe for disaster.

The primary reason why teens are involved in car accidents is distraction. The AAA Foundation reveals that a whopping 60 percent of accidents in which teens are injured or killed involved some type of distracted driving. Though the types of distractions vary, there are three main categories of distraction responsible for a sizable portion of teen driver accidents:

  • Texting or talking on a cellphone was implicated in 12 percent of crashes
  • Looking at/reaching for/dealing with something inside the vehicle was present in 11 percent of accidents
  • Talking to or interacting with passengers was found in 15 percent of crashes

You can help keep your teen driver safe this summer by reminding them about the importance of following the rules of the road (not speeding, never drinking before driving, not driving while intoxicated) and limiting the number of passengers in their vehicle. You can't, however, control the behavior of other teens on the road. If you - or someone you love - has been injured by a distracted or reckless driver of any age, you might be able to bring a legal claim for compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area for more information.

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Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC
123 7th St S
La Crosse, WI 54601

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