FELICITY ERNI: Summer dangerous for teen drivers
Memorial Day marks the beginning of the 100 deadliest days of the year on our nation’s roads for teen drivers. Traditionally during the summer months, hundreds of teens are killed in car crashes and their families devastated. These deaths are unacceptable, especially because these crashes are preventable. I implore parents to remain vigilant as they play a big role in the fight to end these tragic crashes.
School might be out, but teens still need to be off the roads by 10 p.m., when teen crash risks sharply increase. Although teens may spend more time with friends during the summer months, teens should not ride with or carry other teen passengers. Just one teen passenger increases a teen driver’s crash risk by as much as 48 percent.
According to the National Traffic Safety Administration, July 23, 2011, and July 30, 2011, tied for the deadliest days for young people ages 15-20 on our nation’s highways (25 motor vehicle deaths occurred on each of those dates).
Additionally, in 2011, 60 percent of the 15- to 20-year-old passenger vehicle occupants who lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
I encourage parents to get involved and become advocates for their teens’ safety on our roadways.
By doing so, I’m confident this summer can be the safest yet for our teen drivers.
Felicity Erni, M.Ed.
leader, Pennsylvania Teen Safe Driving Coalition