Summer is the Deadliest Time for Teen Drivers


Local Cal Poly Humboldt student kylee Michaud recounts a harrowing event that occurred only a few years ago – back when she was in high school. Car accidents involving teens increase more than 20% during the months of summer.

Michaud’s experience is one of many serious accidents involving teens that occur annually. Michaud states; “He ended up going through a tree and his car caught on fire. He could have injured a lot more people and even killed some people.” Michaud continues, “He swerved into the left lane and was basically under the influence, driving, and then swerved into the right lane in front of me…but he ended up going through a tree and, his car caught on fire. He had to be taken out of the car by me and my friends. And then, he tried to run because he knew he was in high school and he knew he was drinking.”

Highway patrol officer Aaron Stacy says this kind of story is all too common, “Obviously, impaired driving is a big one that we see a lot of, but I think, I think speed is a contributing factor and probably the majority of accidents as well as distracted driving.”

The national road safety foundation says the days between memorial day and labor day are the deadliest for teens. Stacy says, “Teen drivers have nothing going on in the summer unless they’re working. So yeah, you’re driving around looking for things to do. So you’re putting miles on the road and other cars, things happen.”

Retired traffic control supervisor Kenny Baker distracted driving is a big danger for everyone, “Cell phones are the biggest issue.”

Michaud reminds teens to “Don’t drink and drive. I think that should be advice to anybody. Just don’t do it. There’s so many other platforms. There’s Uber, there’s Lyft, there’s Taxi’s. If you’re a teenager, you shouldn’t be drinking anyways. But just it’s a big metal car that you’re responsible for, once you get your license.”

For more information, visit the Department of Traffic Safety below: