June 1, 2023- From Memorial Day through Labor Day marks what AAA calls the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. Nationwide, More than 30 percent of deaths involving teen drivers occur during this 100 day period.
“Summer is historically a dangerous time for teen drivers,” said Adrienne Woodland, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Once school is out, teens will spend more time on the road, often driving with friends at odd hours of the day and night. Because of their inexperience, teens are more susceptible to dangerous driving behaviors – like speeding, driving distracted, and not wearing a safety belt. AAA urges parents to model safe driving behavior and reinforce safe driving habits with their teen drivers to help keep them safe this summer.”
Traffic accidents are currently the leading cause of death for teens ages 16-19. For every mile driven, new teen drivers (ages 16 – 17) are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to adults.
National Teen Driver Statistics:
- An average of 2,108 teens are involved in deadly crashes, every year.
- 660 (31%) of those occur during the 100 Deadliest Days.
- These crashes result in an average of 2,341 deaths per year.
- 732 of those fatalities occur during the 100 Deadliest Days.
Common Risk Factors for Teen Drivers
Understanding the risks and knowing the facts will prepare both you and your teen for the road ahead:
- Distracted driving. Distraction plays a role in nearly six out of ten teen crashes. Electronics like cell phones and in-vehicle infotainment systems are considered the second-biggest distraction to teen drivers. The biggest distractions are teen passengers.
- Driving with teen passengers. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash increases in direct relation to the number of teenagers in a car (NHTSA). Having other passengers in the car can contribute to peer pressure and the impulse to engage in dangerous habits like speeding and aggressive driving.
- Speeding. Speeding is a factor in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers.
- Not wearing a safety belt. Teens who buckle up significantly reduce their risk of dying or being seriously injured in a crash.
AAA’s Advice For Parents
- Lead by example. Minimize risky behavior when you drive. Don’t drive aggressively, avoid distractions, and always wear your seatbelt. Your driving skills and judgement behind the wheel shape your child’s view of safe driving habits, even before they’re old enough to drive. Make safe driving a priority in your own life.
- Conduct at least 50 hours of supervised practice driving. Let your teen drive in a variety of conditions including inclement weather, busy interstates, and at night. This will help them become a more confident driver in imperfect situations.
- Teach defensive driving skills. Help your teen anticipate potential risks by constantly scanning the road for hazards. Then share advice for how to safely avoid them.
- Establish a parent-teen driving agreement which sets family rules like when the teen can drive, where they can go and with who. Then clearly outline the consequences for breaking the rules and rewards for driving safe.
Online Driving Course
AAA provides a online driving course to give solid foundation of the knowledge and skills necessary to reduce a teen’s risk behind the wheel. This supplemental program is an online, 25-hour course that features:
- Convenient, self-paced delivery
- Research-based curriculum
- Videos, simulations, and interactive exercises to enhance content retention
- Optional virtual parent session to help educate parents on the learning to drive process
Behind the Wheel Driving Courses
The AAA Approved Driving School Network helps identify the best driver training resources in your local community. These schools have passed AAA’s stringent standards and offer quality curriculum as well as the best value for students.
To learn more, email [email protected] or call (888) 222-7108.