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For teen drivers and passengers, summer can be deadly

Summer in Chicago is a busy and exciting time. As the school year comes to an end, teens in the Chicagoland area are finalizing plans to work, travel and visit friends. While the summer is typically considered a time to be carefree and have fun, according to the American Automobile Association, it's also considered to be the "100 Deadliest Days" of the entire year.

Throughout the summer months, many Chicago-area teens will either drive regularly or be a passenger in a vehicle driven by a teen. Teen drivers often lack the driving experience and general insight that comes with age and years of encountering numerous driving situations, as a reslut they are more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident.

In the U.S., more teenagers die from injuries suffered in car accidents than from any other cause. In fact, during the summer months, an average of nine U.S. teenagers die each day in car accidents. What's more, teen drivers are also more likely to cause or be involved in motor vehicle accidents that result in the fatality of another driver, passenger or pedestrian.

For the safety of everyone on the road, it's important that parents take steps to provide teen drivers with the tools and knowledge necessary to safety drive a motor vehicle. Perhaps the best way to help a teen driver become a good driver is to be a positive role model.

Even though they likely pretend not to notice, teens are often acutely aware of their parents’ good and bad driving habits and behaviors. To help teach a teen about the importance of being a safe driver, parents are advised to obey traffic laws and refrain from speeding or using a cellphone while driving. In addition to modeling good driving behaviors, parents would also be wise to communicate openly and honestly with their teen son or daughter.

Teenagers are often faced with many difficult decisions and placed in potentially dangerous situations. It's important, therefore, that a teen knows he or she can call for a ride if necessary. Having frank discussions about possible scenarios related to drinking and driving lets a teen know that they have options and that it's never worth risking their own life or the lives of others.

Source:, "Tips to help teen drivers navigate summer's '100 deadliest days'," May 30, 2014