A new analysis of crash data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that July 4 is the deadliest day for teens on the road and is just as deadly for the motorists that will be driving alongside them.
In the U.S., car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for everyone ages 1-34, with teens crashing four times more often than any other age group. Based on the latest available data, IIHS reports that more than 800 people were killed on July 4 from 2006 to 2010.
And if the projections remain true this year, an average of 140 people will lose their lives on July 4 because of car crashes. Tennessee lost 85 during the month of July in 2010, and July trends as one of deadliest months on the road for all drivers.
Teens accounted for nearly 10 percent of the fatalities that occur on July 4 and are particularly susceptible to fatal distracted driving incidents. Research from the Allstate Foundation found that 49 percent of teens report that texting is their biggest distraction behind the wheel.
“These tragedies are compounded by the fact that many crashes are preventable,” Allison Hatcher, regional spokesperson for Allstate, said. “Driver error, speeding and distractions are the main causes of crashes, and seemingly simple activities such as switching radio stations or interacting with friends can significantly impair a teen’s or adult’s ability to react quickly to changing traffic conditions. Staying focused on the road, wearing seat belts and following the speed limit and other road rules are simple steps we can all take this July 4 to make sure that we return home safely.”
Currently, legislation that would encourage states to enact optimal teen driving laws is being considered by Congress as a part of the surface transportation reauthorization bill. These policies have been shown to reduce traffic fatalities by as much as 40 percent in the states where they have been adopted. Additionally, recent research from the Allstate Foundation’s License to Save Report found that these laws could save an estimated 2,000 lives and $13.6 billion annually.
Allstate and the Allstate Foundation urge Americans to do their part in making roads safer for all families during the Independence Day holiday. The Allstate Foundation’s website has facts and resources that can help keep everyone safe on America’s roads.