Every summer when school ends and more teenagers start taking to California and the nation’s roadways, the number of crashes involving teenage motorists rises. The number of teen driver-involved crashes rises so much during the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day that safety advocates have started referring to it as summer’s 100 Deadliest Days.
Per AAA’s Automobile Club of Southern California, many of the crashes that occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year and involve teen drivers also share other elements in common.
Teen driver crash statistics
Each summer, an average of 700 motorists die across the nation during the 100 Deadliest Days span. Between 2014 and 2019, there were more than 3,500 road deaths within the Memorial Day to Labor Day timeframe. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of fatal crashes in California involving teenage drivers also rose 12.3%, increasing from 98 in 2015 to 110 in 2016. Also, about two-thirds of those who suffer injuries in crashes involving teenage drivers are someone other than the teen who caused the wreck.
Teen driver crash contributing factors
Many fatal and nonfatal crashes involving teenagers share similar characteristics. Speeding is a leading cause of crashes involving teen drivers. Speed contributes to almost 30% of all teen driver-involved fatal wrecks. Alcohol, too, is a common factor in these crashes, having a hand in 17% of them. Driver distraction also continues to be a problem among teenage motorists, contributing to 9% of teen-involved fatal crashes.
Teenagers who exercise negligence while driving and injure or kill others as a result may face criminal or other sanctions.