Allstate Asks Drivers to Stay Safe for Fourth of July

While most of us view the summer as an opportunity to hit the road for a vacation or getaway, Allstate and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have recognized the danger that comes with summer driving, particularly on the Fourth of July. Allstate, citing data from IIHS, warned drivers that July 4 is the deadliest day of the year for teen drivers, and that the month of July is one of the deadliest for all drivers.

In the press release, Allstate's vice president of public social responsibility Victoria Dinges reminded drivers, particularly teens, that many crashes are entirely preventable.

"Driver error, speeding, and distractions are the main causes of crashes," Dinges said. "Simple activities such as switching radio stations or interacting with friends can significantly impair a teen's or adult's ability to react quickly to changing traffic conditions. Staying focused on the road, wearing seat belts and following the speed limit and other road rules are simple steps we can all take this July 4 to make sure we return home safely."

According to the data, car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for individuals between the ages of 1-34. With that age group, teens were involved in four times as many crashes. Additionally, there were more than 800 people were killed on July 4 from 2006-2010, which heavily contributed to the month being one of the deadliest of all. If the same projections hold true for this year, an average of 140 people will lose their lives in a car accident on July 4. The data also showed that teen drivers accounted for nearly 10% of all driving fatalities on the July 4, and that part of the problem is the group's susceptibility to fatal distracted driving incidents. Allstate's own data from the Allstate Foundation found that 49% of teen drivers reported that texting was their biggest distraction behind the wheel.

The Allstate Foundation has also poured a significant amount of research into finding a way to curtail the problem. Through their License to Save report , the company found that comprehensive graduated driver's license laws could save an estimated 2,000 lives and $13.6 billion annually. Most GDL systems include restrictions on the required age to obtain a learners permit (usually 16 at the lowest), a required amount of supervised driving time before earning a license, a minimum age of 17 years before full licensure, and further restrictions on passengers and night driving.

The IIHS data also showed that graduated driver's license (GDL) systems in place from the mid-1990s that phase in full driving privileges helped significantly reduce the amount of teen driving fatalities. Car crash rates among teen drivers declined anywhere from 10-30% in states where GDL systems are in place. Other teen driving laws, like strong restrictions on nighttime driving and having other teenage passengers, also reduced the number of fatal crashes and insurance collision claims in teens.

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