The summer season brings the 100 deadliest days of the year. These are the days during which fatal crashes involving teens rise to a tragic level. The number of teen deaths recorded during these months between 2010 and 2019 was over 7,000. This trend shows no signs of abating in California or the rest of the nation.
Two holiday weekends are the bookends
It just so happens that the period of 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the time when motor vehicle accidents rise to their highest level during the year. The reasons for this are many. Teen drivers are the least experienced group of people who are likely to get behind the wheel. There are many more of them on the road during summer.
The relative lack of driving experience that many teens suffer from can lead to fatal consequences. Teen drivers are more likely to be out on the roads during the night time. They are more prone to ignoring safety laws, such as wearing their seat belts. They are also more likely to commit speeding or tailgating.
The number of teens who were killed in fatal road accidents increased in both California and most of the rest of the country. As of 2022, only 6 states in the U.S. have reported no increase or a small decrease in the number of fatal teen crashes. The rest have contributed their share to the number of drivers killed.
Most crashes are the result of driver error
The vast majority of fatal crashes are caused by error on the part of the driver. This can be speeding, not signaling while changing into another lane, or following another vehicle too closely. It can also be due to driving while intoxicated or distracted. Cell phones lead to many deaths.
Legislators in California are working closely with highway safety experts to try to curb the increasing number of teen deaths. New laws regarding mandatory teen driver education are being proposed. Whether these measures can bring down the number of crashes remains to be seen.