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South Carolina Teen Driver Fatalities: Nearly 40% Occur in Summer

Serious young man or teenager driving car and looking at camera

Why are teen drivers at higher risk of car accidents in the summer?

Young drivers in South Carolina consistently cause more car accidents during the summer months, according to a recent nationwide traffic safety study. And other road safety researchers have come to the same conclusion – teen drivers cause more collisions during the summer.

“There is a sharp increase in automobile fatalities involving teen drivers from Memorial Day to Labor Day, also referred to as the 100 Deadliest Days,” according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which has been studying the problem for years.

Breaking down the numbers

The website Bumper recently studied national crash data from 2019 to 2021, specifically looking at collisions caused by drivers ages 15 to 20. First, the website ranked which states have the most teen driver accident deaths each year. Then, researchers determined how many of these deaths occur between June and September.

In South Carolina, teen drivers were involved in 4.83 car accident deaths per 10,000 drivers during that two-year period as a whole. And the four-month period of June to September saw 38.8 percent of those accidents per year.

What are the "100 Deadliest Days"?

Between 2011 and 2020, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 were involved in 7,316 car accident fatalities between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety based on accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is why this time of year during the summer is often called the “100 Deadliest Days."

And the number of fatalities due to collisions involving younger drivers has gotten worse in recent years. During the summer of 2021, teen drivers were involved in accidents that resulted in nearly 900 motor vehicle deaths, which is 6 percent higher compared to 2020 and 25 percent higher compared to 2019.

Why do teen drivers cause car crashes?

During the summer, there are more young drivers on the road “joyriding” without a destination. “We know that when teens are joyriding as opposed to driving with a specific destination and time in mind, there is a heightened risk,” said Diana Gugliotta, Senior Manager of Public Affairs for AAA Northeast.

Other common reasons why teen drivers consistently cause collisions include speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving. Speeding in particular plays a role in many teen driver accidents — 44.4 percent of car accident deaths caused by younger drivers involve speeding, according to a ValuePenguin study about teen driver crashes.

Another common contributing factor is lack of experience. Younger drivers often don’t realize just how dangerous certain situations can be on the road, whether it’s speeding, texting while driving, or drinking and driving, according to traffic safety experts.

Best ways to prevent teen driver collisions

Preventing car accidents caused by teen drivers starts with parents talking with their children about the dangers they might face on the road. In addition, parents should set a good example themselves behind the wheel.

“Be a good role model,” the NHTSA recommends on its Teen Driving information page. “Remember that your child looks to you as a driver, so practice safe driving yourself.” In addition, the NHTSA advises parents to specifically discuss the dangers of drunk driving before it’s too late.

Our South Carolina car accident attorneys are here to help

Car crashes caused by teen drivers in South Carolina often quickly turn into complicated legal cases. Whether it’s the young driver denying doing anything wrong or insurance companies that get in the way, you need to make sure you take steps right away so your car crash gets the attention it rightfully deserves.

Our experienced car accident lawyers at Johnson + Johnson, Attorneys At Law can help every step of the way. We know the law. We understand how the legal system works in South Carolina. And we’re prepared to work hard with you to build a strong, successful legal case.

Get a law firm that's serious about winning. Contact us and schedule a free consultation with a Lexington, SC car accident attorney who puts your best interests first.

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