Buckle your seat belts: the 100 “Deadliest Days” begins! This is the period between May 31 and Labor Day when motorists are more likely to be injured or killed in fatal crashes involving a teen driver.
— an announcement from AAA Northeast, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association
Between 2013-2017, more than 3,500 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers, reports the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In fact, nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel.
Speeding, impaired driving, and distractions are the three major factors contributing to fatal teen crashes during the summer, a time when teen-related crashes historically rise because they’re out of school and driving more.
“The number of fatal crashes involving teen drivers during the summer is an important traffic safety concern,” said Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast spokeswoman. “Research shows young drivers are a vulnerable driver group with a higher chance of being involved in crashes because they’re young and inexperienced drivers.”
Education, coupled with proper driver training and parental involvement, help teen drivers become better, safer drivers on roadways, said Mayko. “It’s so important to continuously educate them about driving safety so they avoid reckless behaviors that put themselves and other road users at risk.”
AAA Foundation research found over the past five years during the “100 Deadliest Days”:
- An average of almost 700 people died each year in crashes involving teen drivers; and
- The average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers ages 15-18 was 17% higher per day compared to other days of the year.
Parents — the Best Line of Defense
AAA urges parents to discuss the higher risks teens face during the summer, familiarize themselves with CT’s Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) laws and become actively involved in the learn-to-drive process involving their inexperienced teen.
To prepare for the summer drive season, AAA also encourages parents to:
- Discuss early and often the dangers of risky driving situations with their teens;
- Teach by example and minimize their own risky behavior when behind the wheel;
- Make and enforce a parent-teen driving agreement that sets driving limits based on the state’s GDL.
- Visit TeenDriving.AAA.com that offers a variety of tools that highlight teen driving risks and state licensing information. An online AAA StartSmart program also offers parental resources on how to become effective in-car coaches and ways to manage their teen’s overall driving privileges.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded research and educational organization, whose mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes.
It also educates the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.