The #1 Killer of Texas Teens in the Summer and How to Avoid It

Car Accident attorney

When the summer months roll around, life changes, especially for teenagers. Teens go on summer break, giving them time away from school and more time to socialize and travel. However, with the summer break also comes an increase in car accidents, which happen to be the number one killer of teens in Texas.

Car Accidents Are the #1 Killer for Teenage Drivers in the Summer

Teenagers are at great risk whenever they get behind the wheel, especially during the summer. The “100 deadliest days” for teen drivers occur between Memorial Day, the official start of summer, and Labor Day, the official end of summer. This is because, during the summer months, teens are more likely to be involved in collisions.

Vehicular collisions are the leading cause of death in teens, with about eight teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19 dying every day from car accidents. The fatal crash rate in teen drivers aged 16 to 19 is about three times as much as that for drivers 20 and older.

Teenagers in Texas are particularly at risk, especially during the summertime, as there is an excessive increase in teenage accidents. About 10,000 teens are injured or killed in auto crashes every year, with many of these collisions taking place in the summer.

Why Are Car Crashes More Common for Teens in the Summer?

Teenage drivers face many risks year-round. However, teens face additional hazards during the summer months for the following reasons.

Summer Vacation

Depending on a teen’s age and school, they get to enjoy summer break from about May to August or September. With no school and little responsibility, teenagers have more free time, which often includes more driving and road trips.

Active Social Lives

With summer break comes an opportunity for a more active social life. Teens have the chance to spend more time with friends and family, usually meaning an increase in car travel.

Unfortunately, a better social life for teens regularly includes teen drinking and drug use. This not only puts teen drivers at risk but also endangers others on the road.

Higher Numbers of Drivers on the Roads

When the summer months roll around, there is typically a greater increase in cars on the road. Whether it’s a long road trip to another city or state or a short trip to the beach or lake, it’s not uncommon to see many more vehicles on streets and highways.

More cars mean more likelihood of traffic accidents for everyone, including teens.

Who Is the Most At Risk of Car Accidents?

According to research, certain teen drivers are more at risk for vehicular collisions, including:

  • Newly Licensed Drivers: The risk of accidents is much higher for new drivers
  • Teens Driving With Teens: Risk increases for teen drivers with teen passengers
  • Male Drivers: The death rate for male drivers is higher than for female drivers

Any teen driver is at risk for vehicular collisions. However, teens who fall under these categories are more likely to experience car accidents.

Most Significant Risk Factors for Teens

Risk Factors for Teens

Teenagers always face some risks while behind the wheel. Still, specific risk factors greatly increase the occurrence of car accidents for teens.

Not Wearing Seat Belts

It’s critical to instill the importance of seat belts from a young age. Doing so can help increase the chances of teens wearing seat belts once they begin driving.

A high number of teens avoid wearing seat belts while driving and as passengers. In 2020, of the teens aged 16 to 19 who were killed in car accidents, 56% were not wearing seat belts at the time of the collision.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has taken special note of the rise of Texas teens dying in car crashes because they were not wearing seat belts. To try to remedy the issue, the TxDOT has launched campaigns focusing on the value of seat belts.

Nighttime Driving

Driving at night can be dangerous for drivers of any age, particularly teenagers. This is especially true for inexperienced teen drivers.

In 2020, 44% of fatal motor vehicle crashes that killed teens aged 13 to 19 took place between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., with 50% of these accidents happening on the weekend.


Teenagers are more likely than older drivers to engage in dangerous driving behaviors, including speeding. Recently, of drivers aged 15 to 20, 18% of males and 35% of females were speeding at the time of their fatal collision.

Speeding is risky for many reasons. It increases stopping time and distance, increases the severity of impact, and weakens the effectiveness of safety features like seat belts and airbags.

Distracted Driving

Teens often drive while distracted. With an increase in cell phone use, teenage drivers feel confident multitasking and texting, emailing, and taking photos while behind the wheel. In 2020, of all high school students in the U.S. who were licensed to drive, 39% of teen drivers admitted to having texted or emailed while driving in the last 30 days.

Impaired Driving

Teens are more likely to drink and do drugs during summer break, especially when they go out with friends and party. However, teens are not the only age group that drives while impaired. In the summer, numerous drivers get behind the wheel while intoxicated, increasing the chances of traffic accidents at any time of day, but especially at night.

Minimizing Teen Car Accidents

If you have a teen driver, you can take steps to try to avoid accidents and save lives. Talk with your teenager and explain the importance of safe and attentive driving.

In general, increasing teenage driver safety can include:

  • Emphasizing the need to wear seat belts at all times
  • Restricting the number of people allowed in the car while your teenager drives
  • Limiting nighttime driving
  • Enrolling your teen in the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program

Taking these steps and exhibiting safe driving for your teens to learn from can significantly help your teens stay safe during the summer and year-round.

Getting Legal Help Following a Collision

Even the safest teen driver can still suffer injuries in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence. If your teenager is hurt in a vehicular collision, contact The Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC.

Our firm has over 30 years of experience helping injured clients get the compensation they need and deserve. With three convenient locations and 24-hour consultations, we’re available when you need us most. Contact our firm today to get started.

Michael J. Gopin

Michael J. Gopin has practiced law in El Paso since 1987. Even after more than 30 years, he still remembers his first jury case. It was two weeks after receiving his license, when he represented a person whose life had been forever changed after being blinded in a work-related incident...


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