The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the 100 deadliest days because of the uptick in car crash fatalities seen every year. Parents of teen drivers in Tennessee should be especially concerned because the period coincides with summer break and many of the victims are younger drivers.
Between 2008 and 2018, over 8,300 people died in crashes with teen drivers during the 100 deadliest days. That comes to more than seven fatalities for each day of summer.
According to AAA, drivers aged 16 to 17 are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than adults for every mile driven. Teens are inexperienced and more prone to risky behaviors. For example, in a AAA Foundation for Traffic. Safety survey, 47% of drivers aged 16 to 18 admitted to exceeding the speed limit in a residential area by at least 10 mph. About 40% admitted to going 15 mph over the speed limit on the freeway, 35% admitted to texting behind the wheel and 17% said they neglected their seat belt.
Parents can help prevent accidents by talking to their teens about speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving and other negligent acts. There should already be a parent-teen driving agreement in place, too. AAA provides a guide for parents on coaching their teens.
Regardless of their age or level of experience, drivers have a duty of care to other road users. If, through negligence, they fail in this duty and cause motor vehicle accidents, then they could be held at fault. Those who were injured may be able to file a claim against the responsible party’s auto insurance company, but they might first want to have a lawyer evaluate it in light of Tennessee’s modified comparative negligence rule. The lawyer may hire investigators to help with the case.