May 20 the deadliest day for teen drivers - - The News for South Mississippi

May 20 the deadliest day for teen drivers

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) – A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that May 20 is the deadliest day for teen drivers. Over the past five years, 63 percent more teens die on this day in auto accidents than any other day of the year.

With graduation, prom, the beginning of summer, this is a busy time for young people. Sadly, it will also be a time when some lose their lives.

"I would encourage all young drivers, to take extra care while driving, not just on May 20, but every time they get behind the wheel," Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney said. "Not only will they save their own lives, a safe driving record helps keeps insurance premiums down."

Over the past five years, Mississippi crashes involving teen drivers claimed 845 lives.* The IIHS research also found that texting is a teen's biggest distraction behind the wheel.

In 2009, the Mississippi Legislature addressed this issue by passing Senate Bill 2280 which strengthened the state's Graduated Driver Licensing Laws and prohibited texting while driving during the learner's permit and intermediate stages.

  • 55% of motor vehicle crash deaths among teenagers in 2008 occurred on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
  • 20% of teenage motor vehicle crash deaths in 2008 occurred between 9pm and midnight.
  • 63% of teenage passenger deaths in 2008 occurred in vehicles driven by another teenager.

To prevent more Mississippi youths becoming part of those statistics the Mississippi Insurance Department offers the following safe driving tips:

  • Always wear your seat belt, and make sure all passengers buckle up, too.
  • Adjust your car's headrest to a height behind your head, not your neck, to minimize whiplash in case you're in an accident.
  • Never try to fit more people in the car than the number of available seatbelts.
  • Obey the speed limit. Going too fast gives you less time to stop or react. Excess speed is one of the main causes of teenage accidents.
  • Don't run red lights.
  • Use turn signals to indicate your intention to turn or to change lanes.
  • When the light turns green, make sure the intersection clears before you go.
  • Don't drive like you own the road; drive like you own the car.
  • Don't drink and drive, and don't ride with anyone who has been drinking. Call parents or friends to take you home if you need a ride.
  • Don't blast the radio. You might miss hearing a siren or a horn that could warn you of possible trouble.
  • Don't drive with small children or even small teenage friends as passengers in a front seat that has a passenger-side air bag.
  • Be on the lookout for motorcycles, bikes, and pedestrians


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