NEW YORK STATE (WSYR-TV) — Wednesday, May 27 begins the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. AAA finds that an average of 20.2 people die in New York State Crashes involving teenage drivers every summer.
From 2008 to 2018, a total of 222 people were killed during the “100 Deadliest Days,” the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when fatal teen crashes increase dramatically. A total of 382 people were killed during the non-summer months in New York State from 2008 to 2018.
Deadly accidents are 70% more likely to occur during the summer months for teen drivers.
Nationwide, more than 8,300 people died in crashes involving teen drivers during the “100 Deadliest Days” over the ten-year span. That’s more than seven people a day each summer.
This year’s combination of schools closed, activities curtailed, summer jobs cancelled, and COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, could prove deadly as teens take to the road this summer.
AAA recommends that parents model safe driving behaviors and help ensure their teens practice them too.
“The last decade of crash data shows that teens continue to be over-represented in crashes and summertime marks an increase of fatal crashes for this age group,” said Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Our data analysis 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.”
Due to their inexperience, teen drivers are at a higher risk of crashes.
According to the new 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%)
- Aggressive driving (31%)
- Drowsy driving (25%)
- Driving without a seatbelt (17%)
“Parents remain the best line of defense to keep everyone safe behind the wheel,” said Jennifer Ryan, AAA’s Director of State Relations. “It’s never too soon to educate teens on the dangers of distracted driving, speeding, and the impairing effects of alcohol and marijuana. But actions speak louder than words. Remember to model good behavior because your teen won’t take your advice seriously if you don’t follow it yourself.”
To keep teens safe on the road 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 50 hours of supervised practice driving with their teen.
TeenDriving.AAA.com has a variety of tools to help prepare parents and teens for the dangerous summer driving season.