Summer’s ‘100 Days’ Marks Risky Time to Be on the Road

Holiday deathsEven though the official start of summer is a little under a month away, the end of Memorial Day Weekend is beginning of the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer,” according to officials.

The 100-day period between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends is recognized by public safety officials across the U.S. as an especially dangerous time on America’s roadways, and they are making it known with messages from coast to coast.

Drivers with unsafe habits should be especially wary of these coming months, when stepped-up enforcement increases the likelihood that they are nabbed for a roadway infraction and more teenage drivers on the road increases the chances that they are involved in a crash.

Teens Especially at Risk

The “100 Days” is an especially dangerous time for teenage drivers who are out in force for prom, graduation and post-graduation activities. Traffic fatalities are already the leading cause of death for young drivers ages 15 to 20 years old, who are involved in three times as many fatal crashes “mile-for-mile” as other age groups, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration.

Parents of newly licensed drivers trying to locate car insurance for teenagers should know that insurance rates can be higher for this age group because of its links to dangerous roadway habits. But that already higher-than-average insurance rate can skyrocket if your teen driver crashes his or her vehicle. So keeping track of your teen’s driving during the “100 days” can not only save a life but also insurance costs.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones addressed the subject of teen driver safety last week, urging teens behind the wheel to “avoid risks that can lead to auto accidents.”

“While the summer months represent a break for most teens from school, they also represent one of the deadliest time periods for teen drivers, who have the highest percentage of auto crashes of any drivers,” Jones said in a statement. “That’s why it is important for parents, teachers—all of us—to regularly take the time and educate our kids about becoming safe drivers and learning crash avoidance techniques.”

In Delaware, Insurance Commissioner Karen Stewart issued similar reminders to motorists about “one of the riskiest times of the year for youth” and publicized traffic safety and education programs that the state will host in the upcoming summer, including SmartDrive, which offers online courses for teenage drivers.

Enforcement Increases Across the U.S.

More danger on the roadway also means more enforcement to combat it.

In Georgia, the “100 Days” of the past nine years have been met with the state’s 100 days of Summer Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic, also known as HEAT. The state’s annual multi-agency enforcement crackdown brings a heavier amount of patrols to 159 counties across Georgia to “reduce fatal crash counts during Georgia’s deadly holiday driving period.”

The HEAT campaign runs until Sept. 4 and began with the start of the state’s Click It or Ticket campaign that runs May 21 to June 3 and focuses on seat belt compliance.

California’s Click It or Ticket campaign runs during the same period and institutes “zero tolerance” enforcement of the law requiring drivers to be buckled.

California Highway Patrol officers will be issuing citations day and night, according to a release from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), which added that nighttime enforcement will be especially important because the number of fatal deaths in crashes in 2010 involving lack of seat-belt use was nearly 60 percent higher at night.

“Wearing a seat belt is the number one defense to protect you in a car crash,” OTS Director Christopher J. Murphy said in a statement. “Your risk of death or serious injury is doubled by not wearing a seat belt. Those are odds no one should be willing to take.”

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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