Your kids call it “summer vacation,” but rescue workers call it the “100 Deadliest Days.” Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for teenagers in the United States, and invariably, teen-involved auto accidents spike during the three months that school is out for the summer each year.
E3 Spark Plugs urges parents of teens to consider these facts and stats:
- Car accident deaths double during the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day over the rest of the year combined;
- Teens are responsible for nearly 50 percent more drunk driving accidents during the summer months than during the rest of the year;
- Teen drivers average 44 percent more hours behind the wheel during the June, July and August break than during the nine months that school is in session – 23.6 hours compared to 16.4;
- 23 percent of teen divers are likely to drive with three or more fellow teenagers in their car during the summer, while just six percent more likely to do so during the school year;
- 72 percent of teens regularly stay out late during the summer evenings;
- 24 percent of teen drivers admit they get behind the wheel while they’re tired during the summer.
Consider also that 85 percent of teens admit to texting while driving and 87 percent admit to speeding regularly. If you’re the parent of a teen with a set of wheels, it all paints a scary picture. That’s why for the past 10 years, Ford has brought its Driving Skills for Life program to high schools nationwide.
The program challenges teens to test their driving skills while dealing with common distractions. And most find that it ain’t as easy as they believe.
Says one reporter who took the challenge: “We tested Ford’s distracted-driving course, tasked with texting and driving while maintaining a normal speed and dodging cones. Our text message was nonsensical, and we killed a cone.”
Ford also recommends its innovative MyKey system, standard in Ford vehicles since 2010. The system allows parents to program the ignition or push-start system in their teens’ vehicle via a separate administrator’s key. Parents can select or disable features such as muting the radio until the front passengers buckle their seatbelts, cutting off the electronic throttle at a certain speed, and blocking incoming phone calls and text messages on a mobile phone using Ford’s Sync telematics system.
To help keep your teens safe on the road this summer, visit Ford’s Driving Skills for Life website and locate the scheduled event nearest your home. Got other tips for protecting your young drivers? Post them on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.