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What parents of teen drivers can do during “100 deadliest days”

Every year between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the number of teens who get into fatal car crashes increases. This time period is known as the “100 deadliest days.” Parents in California can do much to prepare for this, and it all starts with understanding the various ways that teens are liable to become unsafe on the road.

For every mile driven, newly licensed drivers aged 16 and 17 are three times more likely than adults are to be in a fatal crash. In a AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index, 72% of drivers aged 16 to 18 admitted to some form of negligent or reckless behavior, the most common being speeding in residential areas, 47%, and on freeways, 40% along with texting, 35%, and running red lights, 32%.

AAA also says that between 2008 and 2018, the number of fatalities arising from teen driving crashes during the 100 deadliest days totaled over 8,300. This means that an average of more than seven deaths occurred each day of summer during that 11-year period.

Parents can talk with teens about the dangers of speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving and other negligent acts. They should also establish a parent-teen driving agreement. Above all, parents can encourage their teens to adopt safer behavior by driving cautiously themselves.

Those who choose to act unsafe and cause motor vehicle accidents as a consequence may face a personal injury claim, or their auto insurance company may face one. Victims, for their part, might have a hard time negotiating for a fair settlement because insurance companies can be aggressive in denying payment, so it may be wise to retain legal counsel. A lawyer may be able to hire investigators and other third parties to strengthen the case. If a settlement cannot be achieved, the lawyer may prepare for litigation.

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