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Summer marks ‘100 deadliest days’ for teen drivers

As schools begin to let out for the year, more novice teen drivers will take to the streets. Statistics show that teens are more likely to be in a fatal accident than any other age group. In fact, since 2014, there have been nearly 3,500 deaths from crashes involving teen drivers.

The number of teens in crashes rises drastically between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with AAA dubbing the period the 100 deadliest days. It’s imperative to talk to your teen children about safe driving habits to help keep them safe behind the wheel this summer.

Teen risk factors

Several risk factors contribute to the increase in summer fatalities among teen drivers. The following are the main contributors to accidents:

  • Speeding: Speed was a factor in 28 percent of all fatal teen crashes. About half of all teen drivers admitted to speeding on city streets, and 40 percent admitted to speeding on highways.
  • Intoxication: Alcohol was a contributing factor in 17 percent of fatal teen crashes.
  • Distracted driving: Distracted driving is an underreported problem. While federal estimates blame only 9 percent of fatal teen crashes on distractions, AAA research found that it was a factor in 58 percent of crashes.
  • Teen passengers: Teens riding with other teens as passengers increases the risk of a fatal crash. The fatality rate increased 51 percent when a teen driver only had teen passengers.
  • Nighttime driving: Thirty-six percent of teen motor-vehicle fatalities occurred between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., and nearly 10 percent of nighttime crash deaths involved a teen driver.

Help your teen stay safe

The start of summer is a great time instill good driving values in your children.

  • Help your teens practice driving, vary routes, maneuvers and speed.
  • When you’re behind the wheel, set a good example.
  • Get your teen a car model with a proven safety record.
  • Talk to your teen about the dangers of driving intoxicated.
  • Set clear boundaries for what your teen can and cannot do behind the wheel

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