Each summer, teenagers across New Jersey spend more time on the roadways than they do during the school year. Many of them engage in dangerous driving behaviors that endanger not only themselves but everyone else on the road. Many of them also lack the driving experience that older motorists have, making it harder for them to react appropriately to emergency situations or otherwise avoid crashes with other drivers.
Per New Jersey 101.5, these are among the reasons that safety advocates have dubbed the stretch of time that occurs each year between Memorial Day and Labor Day as summer’s 100 Deadliest Days.
100 Deadliest Days crash statistics
Though the 100 Deadliest Days span accounts for just over a quarter of the year, 29% of fatal crashes involving teenage drivers occur during this stretch. Drivers who are 16 and 17 years old are three times more likely than older motorists to die in car crashes.
100 Deadliest Days crash contributors
Many crashes and fatal crashes that take place during the summer are avoidable. However, many teens admit to engaging in certain behaviors behind the wheel that elevate the chances of a wreck. For example, 35% of teens involved in a recent survey admitted texting and driving. Another 47% of teen drivers admitted to speeding at least 10 mph over the limit in residential areas, while 40% of teen motorists admitted to doing the same on highways.
Right now, New Jersey is one of only a handful of states that do not mandate how many hours a teen driver must practice before securing a driver’s license.