Deadly crashes involving teen drivers climb 15 percent between Memorial Day and Labor Day, making it the “100 deadliest days” of the year, according to AAA.
In the past five years, more than 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving inexperienced teen drivers during this deadly period.
New drivers ages 16 and 17 are far more likely than adults to be involved in a fatal crash, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest study. They are:
• 3.9 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a crash.
• 2.6 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a fatal crash.
• 4.5 times as likely as drivers ages 30-59 to be involved in a crash.
• 3.2 times as likely as drivers ages 30-59 to be involved in a fatal crash.
Fatal teen crashes are on the rise. The number of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes increased more than 10 percent from the previous year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2015 crash data, the latest available.
To reverse this alarming trend, AAA urges parents to help reduce the number of deadly crashes on the road by getting more involved and talking to their teens about the dangers of risky behavior behind the wheel:
• Distraction plays a role in nearly six of 10 teen crashes, four times as many as official estimates based on police reports. The top distractions for teens include talking to other passengers in the vehicle and interacting with a smart phone.
• In 2015, the latest data available, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in a crash were not wearing a safety belt. Teens who buckle up significantly reduce their risk of dying or being seriously injured in a crash.
• Speeding is a factor in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers. A recent AAA survey of driving instructors found that speeding is one of the top three mistakes teens make when learning to drive.
Tools to help prepare parents and teens for the dangerous summer driving season can be found at www.teendriving.aaa.com.