School is out, and with pandemic restrictions ending, teenagers across Silver Spring are excited about summer. For those who just got their driver’s licenses, the freedom of being able to drive themselves and their friends around is exhilarating.
Unfortunately, teen drivers’ inexperience and bad habits often lead to car accidents, many of them serious. Teens seem especially likely to cause crashes in the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a period that AAA Mid-Atlantic calls the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” In the summers of 2010-19, more than 7,000 Americans were killed in collisions involving teen drivers.
Common negligence from teenage motorists
Despite the training they have received from their parents or professional instructors, teens tend to engage in the sort of risky behavior behind the wheel that raises the risk of an auto accident. AAA cites a 2019 survey in which several teens admitted to the following negligent maneuvers:
- Speeding by 10 miles per hour (47 percent)
- Speeding by 15 mph on the freeway (40 percent)
- Texting (35 percent)
- Running red lights (32 percent)
- Driving too aggressively (31 percent)
- Drowsy driving (25 percent)
It’s safe to assume that the real percentages are higher since some teens surveyed were likely too embarrassed to tell the truth or wanted to give the “right” answers.
Innocent people get hurt by dangerous teen drivers
Sadly, teenage drivers are often the victims of their own negligence. But older, more responsible drivers often get caught in younger motorists’ paths. The result can be a catastrophic injury to the head, spine, back, or anywhere else on the body. If the victim is lucky enough to survive, they may be permanently disabled. At best, they could face months or years of grueling recovery to get back at least some of their lost function.