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Teen drivers should take care during July to avoid auto accidents

Parents often warn their teenage children to be safe before the teens go for a drive. Teens usually shrug off their parents’ concerns, thinking their parents are just being overprotective. However, teen drivers should take extra precautions when travelling during the summer. A new study by Driving-Tests.org showed that July is the deadliest month on U.S. roads.

Researchers looked at National Highway Traffic Safety Administration auto accident fatality data from 2005 through 2011 and discovered that more than 27 percent of the fatal motor vehicle accidents that happened during those years occurred during June, July and August. July had the highest number of auto accident fatalities of those months.

The study also looked at the causes of teen auto accidents specifically. NHTSA data shows that auto accidents are the leading cause of death among those aged 15 to 20 years old in the U.S., responsible for about 35 percent of fatalities in that age group. Over 75 percent of teen auto accidents stem from what researchers termed “critical errors,” such as travelling at unsafe speeds, failing to apprehend road hazards, mistakes dealing with right-of-way and distracted driving.

Safety experts believe that one reason that more teen auto accidents occur during summer months is that teen drivers have less supervision during that time of the year and are also driving more.

Teens often yearn for more freedom, but parents would do well to maintain vigilance in monitoring their teens’ driving. Teens have less experience behind the wheel than older drivers, and fewer skills to help them prevent potential dangers on the road from turning into auto accidents. Parents can also monitor good driving habits for teens, such as not driving while distracted by use of cell phone or other handheld electronics. Small efforts can result in big increases to safety.

Source: News Inferno, “July the Most Dangerous Month for Teen Drivers,” F.A. Kelley, July 10, 2013

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