AAA calls the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day “The 100 Deadliest Days”. About 700 people die each year in crashes involving teen drivers.
Deadly crashes involving teen drivers increase during the summer because teens are out of school and driving more, according to AAA.
AAA found that nearly two-thirds of those injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel.
Factors that jack up the deadly behaviors include speeding, drinking alcohol and driving, and driving while distracted.
Parents are the best line of defense when it comes to curbing teen drivers’ deadly behaviors, said AAA. They encourage parents to:
- Talk with teens early and often about abstaining from dangerous behavior behind the wheel, such as speeding, impairment, and distracted driving.
- Teach by example and minimize dangers by not engaging in risky behaviors when driving.
- Establish a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.
Parents are urged to take steps in the face of data that shows nearly 3,500 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers over the past five years during “The 100 Deadliest Days”.
New crash data that AAA analyzed from 2013-2017 showed factors involved in fatal teen crashes during summer include speeding (28 percent), drinking and driving (17 percent), and distraction (9 percent.)
Speeding “significantly increases” the severity of a crash and is a growing problem among teen drivers. Nearly half of teen drivers, 49.7 percent, reported to AAA that they were speeding on a residential street in the past 30 days. Nearly 40 percent said they speed on the highway.
Drinking and Driving
It’s illegal for teens to consume alcohol, but 1 out of 6 teen drivers involved in fatal crashes during the summer tested positive for alcohol.
Distraction – The Underreported Problem
Over half of teen drivers, 52 percent, report reading a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days and nearly 40 percent report sending a text or email.
The likelihood that such distracted-driving cases occur more than has been reported officially is based on the difficulty police face after crashes in detecting whether distracted driving was a factor.
Among drivers of all age groups, AAA found phone use while driving is common. Over 60 percent of drivers reported talking on a hands-free cell phone and over 49 percent said they did so on a hand-held phone.
Drivers consider texting and emailing while driving to be a serious threat but 45 percent of drivers of all age groups said they had read a text or email while driving and nearly 35 percent said they had typed or sent a text or email while driving.
Exchange.AAA.com has tools parents and teens can use to help during the dangerous summer driving season.
The AAA StartSmart program offers ways for parents to become effective in-car coaches and tips on how to manage teens’ driving privileges.
Contact Coplan + Crane Oak Park’s Personal Injury Lawyers today if you’ve been injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident.