According to a new study from Driving-Tests.org, the summer months, particularly July, are the most dangerous months to drive, especially for teenage drivers.
Driving-Tests.org, a site for permit test preparation and new driver education, compared National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data on traffic fatalities from 2005 through 2011 and found that more than 27 percent of all traffic fatalities occur during July, August and September, Newsday reports. July had the most fatalities.
According to NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens in the United States, with car accidents to blame for more than 35 percent of all fatalities among 15- to 20-year-olds, according to a news release from Driving-Tests.org. In a news release, John B. Townsend II of the American Automobile Association (AAA) said teen driving increases during the summer months and young drivers have less supervision then than they do during the school year.
The study found that driving while intoxicated was not the leading cause of teen crashes. Most serious teen-driver crashes – more than 75 percent – involve critical errors, including driving at unsafe speeds; lack of scanning to detect hazards, right of way, traffic signs and signals; and distracted driving (including distractions both inside and outside the car).
Driving-Tests.org recently launched a new program for teens, “Be Safer and Drive Smarter,” Newsday reports. The organization urges parents to be involved in setting expectations and limitations for their children behind the wheel. Their recommendations include setting a curfew; limiting the number of passengers in a young driver’s car; and turning off cellphones. Texting behind the wheel can be particularly dangerous. And, the organization says, teen passengers should speak up if another teen is driving recklessly. Only 44 percent of teenagers reported they would say something, according to Newsday.