FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) – Independence Day is typically a time for barbecues, family gatherings and celebrations. For many travelers, however, this holiday may end in tragedy.
According to research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), July 4 is now the deadliest day on the road for all Americans.
In the U.S., car crashes are the number one 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 670 people were killed on July 4 from 2007-2011, which equates to an average of 134 deaths on that day each year.
Teens accounted for six percent of the driving fatalities on July 4, but continue to be particularly susceptible to distracted driving incidents. Recent research from The Allstate Foundation found that 42 percent of Michigan teen drivers admit to texting behind the wheel, which shows a need for more education.
Allstate’s Gary Heslinga said there are simple things everyone can do to stay safe this Fourth of July. Here’s three ways parents and teens can help to have a safe holiday:
- Talk together about driving early and often. Parents should discuss the risks and responsibilities of driving with your child at a young age, and keep talking with their teen before, during and after the licensing process.
- Don’t rush the training process. Just because teens have a permit or license doesn’t mean they are ready for every driving condition. By easing into the training process, both parents and teens will feel assured they are more prepared for a variety of driving situations.
- Never text or drive distracted. Parents should be positive role models when they’re behind the wheel. All drivers can pledge not to text and drive, and help reduce distracted driving deaths and injuries.