AAA: teens at highest risk for car crash in summer

West Virginia residents may be interested to hear that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has pinpointed a period of 100 days as being the deadliest for teen drivers. This stretches from Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, to Labor Day; during this time, the risk for fatal car crashes involving teens goes up an average of 15%. Parents of teen drivers will want to ensure that their teens know safe driving practices.

Safety begins before a teen even enters the vehicle. Proper vehicle maintenance is crucial, so teens should regularly check their tire pressure, make sure there is enough gas for a trip and check various components. Teens should plan their routes beforehand. Once they get inside their car, they must buckle up. It's not just drivers who must be safety-conscious: Passengers have a responsibility to keep their friend from driving recklessly.

Next, parents must warn against drowsy and distracted driving. Since teens are likely to party more often in the summer, especially with the Fourth of July celebrations, they should know the dangers of drugged and drunk driving. Distractions are a priority too as there are so many teens who are constant smartphone users. If teens are easily distracted by conversations, they should only allow one or two passengers in their car.

Failing to follow these and other basic rules of safety could result in negligent driving. If negligence is found to contribute to an accident, those who are injured through little or no fault of their own may be able to seek compensation for their losses, including their medical bills, lost income and diminished capacity to earn a living. Anyone less than 50% at fault may recover damages, but actually building up the case is another matter. Victims may want legal counsel.

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