What Are the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer?

The “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” is a foreboding term that describes the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During these 100 days, a notable surge in fatal traffic accidents occurs, particularly among teenagers. This phenomenon is observed throughout the United States and highlights the increased risks associated with summertime driving. During the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, the rate of fatal car accidents involving teen drivers spikes by roughly 14%, meaning that an average of 10 people die every day in car accidents with teenage drivers. Understanding the factors contributing to this dangerous period is crucial for parents, young drivers, and road safety advocates. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a car accident, contact the Outer Banks car accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free consultation. 

Increased Teen Driving

One of the primary reasons for the spike in accidents during the 100 Deadliest Days is the significant increase in teen driving. With school out for summer vacation, teenagers have more free time and tend to spend more hours on the road. Many young drivers are inexperienced, and their lack of practice can lead to poor decision-making and slower reaction times in critical situations.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a major contributor to accidents during the summer months. Teenagers are particularly susceptible to distractions such as texting, using social media, and interacting with passengers. The proliferation of smartphones has exacerbated this issue, making it easier for young drivers to be distracted while behind the wheel. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distracted driving is responsible for a significant portion of crashes involving teen drivers.

Reckless Driving/Speeding

Summer often brings a sense of freedom and adventure for teenagers, which can translate into risky driving behaviors like speeding and reckless driving. The open roads and the thrill of driving fast can be tempting for young drivers. However, these behaviors dramatically increase the likelihood of accidents and fatalities.

Nighttime Driving

Teenagers are more likely to drive at night during the summer, whether they are attending parties, hanging out with friends, or working late shifts. Nighttime driving is inherently more dangerous due to reduced visibility and increased fatigue. The combination of inexperienced drivers and nighttime conditions can lead to a higher incidence of accidents.

Alcohol and Substance Use

The summer months also see an increase in parties and social gatherings where alcohol and other substances are present. Teenagers might be tempted to drink and drive, despite the legal drinking age and strict penalties for underage drinking. Impaired driving is a leading cause of fatal accidents, and the risks are even greater for inexperienced teen drivers.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure can significantly influence teen driving behaviors. Teenagers are more likely to take risks and drive recklessly when they have friends in the car. This can include speeding, racing, and engaging in other dangerous activities that they might avoid if they were alone.

Preventive Measures

Understanding the risks is the first step in preventing accidents during the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer. Here are some preventive measures that can help:

  • Parental Involvement: Parents should have open conversations with their teens about safe driving practices and the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. Setting clear rules and monitoring their teen’s driving habits can make a significant difference.
  • Driver Education: Enrolling teens in comprehensive driver education programs can equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate the roads safely.
  • Limiting Nighttime Driving: Parents can impose restrictions on nighttime driving to reduce the risks associated with reduced visibility and fatigue.
  • Encouraging Safe Driving Habits: Promoting the use of seat belts, obeying speed limits, and avoiding distractions can help instill safe driving habits in teenagers.
  • Utilizing Technology: There are numerous apps and devices available that can monitor driving behavior and alert parents to risky activities.

The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer highlights a critical period when teen drivers are at a heightened risk of fatal accidents. By understanding the factors that contribute to this dangerous period and implementing preventive measures, we can work towards reducing the number of accidents and saving lives. Road safety is a shared responsibility, and everyone has a role to play in making our roads safer during the summer months and beyond.

How Can I Reduce My Risk of an Outer Banks Car Accident During the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer?

The Outer Banks, with its picturesque beauty and inflow of holiday-makers during the summer months, is no exception to the 100 Deadliest Days. Practical steps you can take to reduce your risk of a car accident in the Outer Banks during this time include: 


Defensive driving is crucial, especially during the busy summer months. This means expecting possible hazards, being aware of your surroundings, and being ready to react quickly. Always maintain a safe following distance, obey speed limits, and be cautious at intersections. Defensive driving can help you avoid accidents caused by the unpredictable behavior of other drivers.


Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents, particularly among teenagers. Common distractions include texting, using a GPS, eating, or engaging in conversations with passengers. To minimize distractions:

  • Put your phone on silent or use a driving mode app.
  • Set your GPS and playlist before starting your journey.
  • Keep conversations with passengers to a minimum.
  • Avoid eating or drinking while driving.


Familiarize yourself with your route before heading out, especially if you’re new to the area. The Outer Banks can have narrow, winding roads and sudden changes in traffic patterns due to tourism. Knowing your route can help you stay focused and reduce the need for sudden lane changes or stops.


Alcohol and drug use impair judgment, reaction times, and coordination, significantly increasing the risk of accidents. Always designate a sober driver if you plan to drink, or use ride-sharing services and taxis. Remember that even small amounts of alcohol can affect your driving abilities.


Driving at night can be more dangerous due to reduced visibility and the increased likelihood of encountering impaired drivers. If possible, plan your trips during daylight hours. If you must drive at night, ensure your headlights are in good working order, and reduce your speed to accommodate the lower visibility.


Speeding is a major factor in many accidents. The Outer Banks has varying speed limits due to its unique geography and road conditions. Always adhere to posted speed limits and adjust your speed according to road and weather conditions.


During the summer months, the Outer Banks attracts a large number of tourists who may not be familiar with the local roads. Expect slower traffic, sudden stops, and unpredictable driving behavior. Patience and understanding can go a long way in preventing accidents in tourist-heavy areas.


Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect yourself in the event of a crash. Ensure that all passengers are buckled up before you start your journey.


The Outer Banks is known for its sudden weather changes, which can affect road conditions. Rain, fog, and high winds can make driving more hazardous. Check the weather forecast before you travel and be prepared to adjust your plans if necessary.


Regular vehicle maintenance is essential for safe driving. Ensure that your brakes, tires, lights, and windshield wipers are in good working condition. Address any mechanical issues promptly to avoid breakdowns or accidents.


If you have teenage drivers in your family, take extra steps to educate them about safe driving practices. Encourage them to take a defensive driving course and to understand the heightened risks during the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer.

Reducing your risk of a car accident in the Outer Banks during the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer requires a combination of cautious driving, awareness of your surroundings, and proactive measures. By following these tips, you can help ensure a safer driving experience for yourself, your passengers, and others on the road. Enjoy the beautiful summer season in the Outer Banks while staying safe and vigilant behind the wheel.

Were You Injured in a Car Accident During the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer?

Even with every conceivable precaution in place, car accidents can still occur. For example, in one recent case, we obtained a $200,000 settlement for a client who was seriously injured in a near head-on collision caused by a driver under the influence. If your teenager is injured in a car accident this summer or if you are injured by a teen driver, seeking legal assistance is vital. The Outer Banks car accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp are dedicated to investigating the circumstances of your accident and helping you seek the highest possible compensation for your injuries. The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer demands increased vigilance and responsibility, particularly from teen drivers. By educating them and setting clear expectations and guidelines, we can strive to make the roads safer for everyone during this critical period.

Call (833) 997-1774 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free legal consultation. We represent clients from Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head.