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  • Teenage Drivers:  The 100 Deadly Days Of Summer Are Here

    Teenage Drivers: The 100 Deadly Days Of Summer Are Here

    It's officially the summer driving season and with it means the return of what the American Automobile Association refers to as the 100 Deadliest Days for teen drivers. That's the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when more deadly crashes involving teen drivers typically occur.

    According to previous research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, new teen drivers ages 16-17 are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash. 

    “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. “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.”

    AAA recommends that parents model safe driving behaviors and help ensure their teens practice them, too. AAA suggests focusing on the dangers of three factors that commonly result in deadly crashes for teen drivers:

    • Distraction: Distraction plays a role in nearly six out 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 smartphone.
    • Not Buckling Up:   According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 52% of teen drivers killed in car crashes in 2020 weren't wearing their seatbelt.
    • Speeding: Speeding is a factor in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers. A previous AAA survey of driving instructors found that speeding is one of the top three mistakes teens make when learning to drive.

    To support parents in conducting practice driving sessions, you can check out AAA's free four-page guide to help parents coach their teens on driving safely.  It offers behind-the-wheel lesson plans, including various “DOs and DON’Ts” to make the learning experience as helpful as possible.  You'll find more teen driver safety resources on TeenDriving.AAA.com.

    CarPro Show host Jerry Reynolds recommends a Teen Driver Contract which you can find here.

    Automakers also offer features that encourage safe driving like Chevrolet's Teen Driver feature. When Teen Driver is activated, audio is muted until driver and passenger seat belts are fastened.

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    Photo Credit:  Chevrolet.