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100 Deadliest Days of Summer affect teenagers

We are entering the time known as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer - the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day - and that's especially true for teen drivers in California.

Think about some of these facts, provided by the advocacy group We Save Lives :

  • Car crashes cause the most deaths for teens.
  • Teenagers have the highest crash rate of any drivers.
  • During the summer, an average of 260 teens each month die in car crashes - 26 percent more than during other months of the year.
  • Distracted driving causes 60 percent of teen crashes. The leading distraction for teens is other passengers, causing 25 percent of crashes.
  • Teenagers have the highest rate of crash involvement that results in the death of others, such as passengers, occupants of other vehicles or pedestrians.

What can parents do in their teaching roles to try to help prevent accidents?

First, set a great example for your kids. A National Safety Council (NSC) survey said 91 percent of parents use their cellphones on their road.

Also, parents should never serve alcohol or permit drug use by teens and their homes.

Parents also need to remind their teens that it is ok to call home for a ride any time they feel afraid of riding as a passenger with someone who has been drinking. Let them know you will applaud their good decision-making skills rather than scold them. Tell them to decline a ride from someone under the influence and to call home instead.

Remind them to follow safety laws, such as speed limits and cellphone laws.

Every time teens get behind the wheel, they run a risk of striking a pedestrian or another vehicle. Given their inexperience behind the wheel, they will need every bit of encouragement and friendly reminders you can give them.

We'd like to think that teens will drive without distractions, without drinking and with common sense, but crashes happen. If a teen driver causes an accident that affects your family, you are justified in seeking help from an attorney.

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