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Teens Beware of 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

July 14, 2018, 12:15 PM HST (Updated July 11, 2018, 7:49 AM)
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VIDEO: BE SAFE BEHIND THE WHEEL fromJ C L on Vimeo.

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has been called the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” for teen drivers. According to the AAA, the number of fatalities involving teen drivers increases during this time, compared to the rest of the year. Here are some points about road safety to keep in mind as summer reaches its midpoint.

  1. 1. While Hawai‘i law allows adults to talk on the phone with the aid of hands-free devices while driving, any use of cell phones is forbidden for drivers 18 and under. They are also prohibited from using video game devices or music devices while driving.

2. More is not merrier with teen drivers on the road. They have been observed to be two-and-a-half times more likely to drive carelessly when there is another teen in the car compared to when they are driving alone. The likelihood of driving carelessly increases with the number of teen passengers. Peer pressure and distraction caused by teen passengers have been noted as to cause this risky driving behavior.

3. Teens are less likely to use seat belts than adults. About one out of four teen drivers forgoes buckling up and only a little more than half do so when riding as a passenger. This increases the risk of teen fatalities on the road. Hawai‘i law requires all vehicle occupants including back seat passengers to wear seat belts. The ticket cost for not buckling up is $102 in Hawai‘i County.

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4. More than one out of four teenagers reported typing or sending a text message while driving in the past 30 days, according to a study cited by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Distracted driving also involves other activities like applying make up, eating, drinking and taking a selfie while behind the wheel.

Experts believe that parents can help their teenage kids be safer on the road this summer by educating them about the appropriate driving laws and about safe driving practices.

Photo Caption: The Hawaii Trauma Centers, in collaboration with three Hawai‘i Island hospitals, aim to increase awareness of distracted driving among teens through a public safety campaign launched on Memorial Day.

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