It's a trend that starts Memorial Day weekend and continues through Labor Day weekend. It's unofficial, yet it's real. It's a dangerous time to be on the roadways, particularly for teenagers.

We're currently in a stretch of time known as the "100 Deadliest Days of Summer." This is a declaration with teenagers, ages 16-19, in mind. The Iowa State Patrol issued a serious warning for drivers. Troopers say that teenagers being out of school during the summer months, on top of lacking significant driving experience, puts them at the most risk for car accidents.

Each year, an average of 2,063 teen drivers are involved in fatal car crashes; 642 of those occurred during the 100 deadliest days. That makes up 31%.

Obviously, these days aren't exclusive to Iowa. They affect every state.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has done a bold job in incorporating these statistics, as well as the overarching 100 days, into their educational portfolio. Their website provides a handful of ways you can make sure your teen son or daughter is practicing safe driving. These tips transcend states and counties.

FDOT recommends:

  • Talking to your teen about the rules and responsibilities involved in driving.
  • Familiarizing yourself with local guidelines for teenagers operating a motor vehicle.
  • Setting consequences for distracted driving when you, the parent are in the car with your teen.
  • Setting a good driving example when you, the parent, are the one behind the wheel.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Just last month, Milwaukee announced they were mulling over becoming a part of the "Vision Zero" project, a plan designed to eliminate all traffic deaths within 15 years. At the end of June, the city announced they were indeed joining the project.

The plan's swiftest and maybe most impactful move was cutting residential speed limits from 25 to 20 mph in order to combat reckless driving in the area. Vision Zero saw success in Sweden and across Europe when it was adopted in the early 1990s. Since then, it's been gaining steam in several major cities across America.

Lastly, the Iowa State Patrol reminds drivers, once more, that seatbelts are the ultimate lifesavers. Buckle up, drive safe, and remain alert.

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