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Fatal car accidents among teens increase during summer

As a child turns 16 and gets their drivers license, nearly every parent starts to get nervous. Turns out parents of California teen drivers have good reason to worry. According to the California Highway Patrol, teen drivers cause 66 percent of all fatal car accidents. This is an alarmingly high percentage, especially considering teen drivers only account for about 4 percent of licensed drivers in California.

The large number of serious and fatal car accidents involving teen drivers serves as a solemn reminder of the importance of promoting safe driving practices among teen drivers. The summer months are especially deadly time for teen drivers, with the four days around July 4 accounting for the highest number of fatal car accidents involving teenagers.

When possible, it's important for parents to drive with their teenagers to ensure proper traffic and safety guidelines are being followed. These include always wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, putting away the cellphone and not tailgating other vehicles. Likewise, parents would be wise to educate their teen drivers on the dangers associated with drinking and driving and stress the importance of never getting in a motor vehicle with a driver who has been drinking.

In the United States, motor vehicle accidents remain the leading cause of death for individuals ages 15 to 20. It's important that parents, teachers and law enforcement officials continue to educate teens on ways to prevent causing or being involved in a car accident.

Source: San Marino Patch, "Summer Marks Deadliest Season for Teen Drivers," Cassandra Morris, June 27, 2012

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