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What parents should know about 100 deadliest days of summer for teen drivers

Memorial Day Travel Pennsylvania
Posted at 4:49 PM, Jun 07, 2021

A new report by the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety calls the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day the 100 deadliest days of summer because of the high volume of fatal car crashes involving teenagers.

Research showed that new teen drivers between 16 and 17 years old are three times as likely to be involved in a fatal collision than adults during that time.

From 2010 to 2019, the foundation said more than 7,000 people died in accidents that involved teen drivers.

“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,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research, in a news release. “So what can be done? We can encourage teens to double down on staying focused when driving, buckling up for every ride, and driving within posted speed limits.”

Researchers said three factors commonly played a role in fatal wrecks: distraction, not wearing a seat belt, and speeding.

Data from 2015 showed that 60% of teen drivers killed in a crash were not wearing a seat belt.

Nearly 30% of fatal wrecks involving teen drivers were due to speeding.

Distraction played a role in nearly six out of 10 crashes involving teens, researchers said.

Researchers said the top distractions for teens include talking to other passengers inside the vehicle and interacting on their smartphones.

With COVID-19 restrictions easing and people heading back out onto the roads, AAA recommends parents model safe driving behaviors, help their teens practice them as well, and consider having them complete a driver's education course.