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Summers take toll on teen drivers, AAA says

This month marks the start of the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers, which is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when fatal crashes involving teen drivers have historically increased.

Nationwide, more than 7000 people died in crashes involving teen drivers from 2010 to 2019 during the time period, and this year, as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, more young drivers will be on the road.

“There are more daily deaths in crashes involving teen drivers during the summer months than the rest of the year because teens tend to have more unstructured time behind the wheel,” says Terri Rae Anthony, safety advisor for AAA East Central.

AAA’s has found that for every mile driven, new teen drivers ages 16-17 years old are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to adults.

According to the AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index, about 72% of teen drivers aged 16-18 admitted to having engaged in at least one of the following risky behaviors in the past 30 days:

¯ Driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street (47%)

¯ Driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway (40%)

¯ Texting (35%)

¯ Red-light running (32%)

¯ Driving without a seatbelt (17%)

To keep roads safer this summer, AAA encourages 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 risky behavior when driving.

¯ Establish a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.

¯ Conduct at least 65 hours of supervised practice driving with their teen.

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