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Teen drivers face "100 deadliest days" during the summer

Teen drivers in Missouri are more likely to crash, due to their inexperience on the road. Their crash risk goes up during the summer because that's the season when teens spend the most time behind the wheel. With the Fourth of July and other celebrations, summer means more parties and get-togethers, which, in turn, also means an increase in drunk and drugged driving.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers are in the summer: that is, between Memorial Day (the unofficial start of summer) and Labor Day. During this time, the risk for a fatal car crash with a teen driver increases an average of 15%. AAA encourages parents to educate their teens on driving safely.

It all begins with maintaining one's vehicle. Tire pressure, fuel levels, the condition of the brakes: all of these must be checked. Like everyone else, teens must buckle up when they get in. They should avoid driving when drowsy and try to minimize night driving. All distractions must be cut out, especially phone use. Teens may want to limit the number of passengers, too, as a way of reducing distractions.

Parents and teens should, of course, have each other's phone number. Teens should know the roads and exercise particular caution in construction zones.

If a negligent teen causes a car accident, his or her insurance company may find itself dealing with a personal injury case. This would be separate from any criminal charges that the teen might face. Victims of negligence may be reimbursed for their medical expenses, vehicle damage and other losses, and they may even sue for punitive damages if the other's actions were especially reckless. The awarding of punitive damages is rare. Victims may benefit from consulting with an attorney.

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