July 4th Deadliest Day for Teens on the Road

With the end of the school year, teens look forward to celebrating the summers by taking vacations with families, spending time at the pool or beach or just hanging out with friends.  Unfortunately for these teens, new analysis from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), shows that summer driving can be dangerous for teens, and July 4th is the deadliest day for teens on the road.

Automobile crashes are, in the United States, the number one cause of death for those people ages 1-34, with teens crashing four times more often than other age groups.  IIHS reports that more than 800 people were killed on July 4th between the years 2006-2010, and if current projections are accurate, an average of 140 people will die this year on July 4th due to car crashes.  Alabama lost 71 people in the month of July last year, with 9 fatalities on July 4th.

Teens accounted for nearly ten percent of the fatalities that occur on Independence Day.  Tracy Owens, Southeast Region Corporate Relations Manager, stated that teen driver error, speeding and distractions are the main causes of crashes.  If teens and other drivers would stay focused on the road, wear seat belts and follow the speed limit, their chances of returning home safely would increase greatly.

The Alabama State Troopers will be out in force for the four-day long July 4th holiday for a traffic safety blitz.  Since the fourth falls in the middle of the week, many people will be waiting until the weekend to celebrate Independence Day.  According to troopers, in their opinion alcohol was a factor in the majority of deadly crashes last year, and more than half of those killed were not wearing seat belts.  The troopers traffic safety blitz will end on July 8.

Department of Safety spokeswoman Robyn Litchfield said that the troopers “want to make sure people are buckling up and obeying all traffic laws, which means no drinking and driving, and no distracted driving.”