The Independence Day holiday is a deadly time for motorists in Louisiana, and across the country for that matter. Like Memorial Day and Labor Day, it is a busy travel day for drivers, and there is an increased risk of fatal car accidents.
According to crash data provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 800 traffic deaths on July 4 from 2006 to 2010. Teenage drivers typically make up about a tenth of those deaths.
This year, it's predicted that as many as 140 people may die in car accidents on Independence Day in the U.S.. Teens are particularly vulnerable, but why?
For starters, they just don't have the experience that more seasoned drivers do. They are more likely to talk on their cellphone, or send text messages while driving. They are also more prone to speeding, and sometimes alcohol is a factor as well.
There are a few things parents can do to try to prevent teen car accidents over holidays like July 4. One is to talk to their teenage son or daughter and encourage them to obey traffic laws, including wearing a seatbelt. Some parents don't take the time to do this, but it can make a big difference. Making sure teens know about the risks and responsibilities associated with driving is important.
It's also smart to be a good role model. If your kids notice you driving carefully and courteously, they may very well be more likely to exercise the same strategy.
Source: Fox Business, "Teen driver safety tips for deadly July 4," Mark Chalon Smith, July 2, 2012