Only 9 percent of teens see summer as a dangerous driving season

June 24, 2010

June 24, 2010—Although studies show that car accidents increase in summer months, and are the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds, less than 10 percent of teens agree that summer poses an increased safety risk, according to a new study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD).

The survey also indicated that 55 percent of teens believed that they or their peers would more than likely engage in drinking and driving this summer, with that number jumping to 77 percent when asked specifically about the Fourth of July weekend.

In order to help prevent fatal crashes, research indicates that teens of parents who talk with them often about safe driving are more likely to wear their seatbelts and are less likely to drink and drive, or to speed.

“Our past Liberty Mutual/SADD research revealed that teens spend 44 percent more hours driving each week in the summer than during the school year, so when you have your most inexperienced driving population on the road for so much longer, it’s understandable that there would be a huge uptick in risk for crashes and tragedies,” said Dave Melton, director of transportation industry services for Liberty Mutual and driving safety expert for Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. “All the more reason that parents should be diligent about discussing responsible driving with their teens, and establishing family driving rules with actionable consequences and rewards.”

The study surveyed more than 2,500 high school upperclassmen nationally and used focus group data from Boston, Minneapolis and Denver to complete the final report.

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