One of the deadliest times for teen drivers is coming up on us – the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day – known by AAA as the 100 Deadliest Days. According to 2016 data, more than 1,050 people died in crashes involving a teen driver between those holidays that year. That is a 10-per-day average, which is a 14% increase compared to the rest of the year, according to data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
As school is letting out for the summer, AAA has been emphasizing the importance of educating and preparing young, inexperienced drivers for some of the most hazardous driving days of the year.
According to the Foundation, the number of deadly crashes involving teen drivers during the summer is a major traffic safety concern, and research indicates that teen drivers are at higher risk and have higher rates of crashes compared to older and more experienced drivers. AAA says that through education, good driver training and deep involvement of parents, it is possible to help young drivers become safer and better drivers.
Some of the most important factors that contribute to deadly crashes during the 100 Deadliest Days are speed and driving at night. For example, the NHTSA reports 36% of all traffic fatalities involving teen drivers happened from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. in 2016. Also, one out of 10 nighttime crash deaths had a teen driver involved.
Regarding speeding, one in 10 of all speed-related crash deaths involved a teenager. And 29% of all car accident deaths involved a teenager.
To prepare for the more hazardous summer driving period, AAA tells parents to sit down and educate their children and themselves about the riskiest types of driving. Parents should talk to their teenagers about the dangers of speeding and driving at night. They also recommend that parents write a parent-teen contract that establishes firm rules for all teen drivers in the home. AAA advises parents to set driving restrictions that are stronger than the laws of your state.
Possible Parent Tips for Teen Drivers
These types of safety tips could be useful for your parent-teen driving contract:
Always obey the speed limit and all traffic laws, and always wear your seatbelt.
Teens should tell parents where they are going and when they will return.
No cell phone use while driving. Phone should be off while engine is running.
Never drink and drive.
Limit driving in the car with friends for the first months you have your license.
Have a curfew. Night driving is particularly dangerous for a young driver.
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