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Summer driving risks with teens increase

As the school term ends for the summer, Pennsylvania families may be focused on planning vacations and other activities as they take advantage of the break. With free time on their hands, teenagers often focus on social activities as well as summer employment. However, it is also important to revisit basic driving safety concepts as the season begins to reduce the risk of serious or even deadly car accidents. AAA considers the period between Memorial Day and the return to school to be the deadliest 100 days of the year on the roads.

Car crashes affect many lives during the summer months. In fact, statistics show that the average deaths per day during this period exceed 10, and more than 1,000 people have died in teen-related crashes around the country during this period for each of the past five summers. Teen drivers are particularly affected by distractions ranging from conversing with others in their vehicles to using their cellphones while driving.

Research related to the cellphone activity of teens shows that young people are very involved with their devices. More than half of teens participate in text messaging on a daily basis, and their average number of texts each day is at least 80, according to the Pew Research Center. Nearly one-fourth of teens indicate that they are constantly active online. Unfortunately, this activity carries into the realm of driving, and the risk of an accident increases by 23 times when a driver is texting. Parents may find that it is helpful to review and reinforce family rules about texting and driving as their teenagers spend more time on the road during summer vacation.

A teen could be responsible for a deadly accident while texting, and parents can be liable for damages caused by their teen in such an incident. An individual who has been seriously injured might want to have legal assistance in seeking compensation from the responsible parents in such a case.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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