More than 1,050 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver in 2016 during the 100 Deadliest Days, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to data analyzed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
That is an average of 10 people per day – a 14 percent increase compared to the rest of the year. Now, as school lets out for summer, AAA stresses the importance of preparing and educating inexperienced teen drivers for some of the most dangerous driving days of the year.
“The number of fatal crashes involving teen drivers during the summer is an important traffic safety concern and research shows that young drivers are at greater risk and have higher crash rates compared to older and more experienced drivers,” said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Executive Director. “Through education, proper training, and involvement of parents, we can help our young drivers to become better and safer drivers, which in turn keeps the roads safer for everyone.”
According to statistics based on 2016 NHTSA FARS data as analyzed by the AAA Foundation:
- 36 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involving teen drivers occurred between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
- One in 10 of all motor vehicle nighttime crash fatalities involved a teen driver
- Data shows a 22 percent increase in the average number of nighttime crashes per day involving teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days compared to the rest of the year
- One in 10 of all motor vehicle speed-related fatalities involved a teen driver
- 29 percent of all motor vehicle deaths involving a teen driver were speed-related
“Not only are risks, like nighttime driving, a particular danger to young drivers, nearly every state also has a law restricting how late teens may be out on the roads,” said Richard Romer, AAA Manager of State Relations. “This is a timely reminder for parents to be actively involved in their teen’s learning-to-drive process, understanding the risks and to be educated on their state’s teen driving law.”
AAA recommends that parents:
- Discuss with teens early and often the dangers of risky driving situations, such as speeding and nighttime driving.
- Teach by example and minimize your own risky behavior when behind the wheel.
- Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers. Consider setting driving limits that are stronger than a state’s law, and enforce those limits.
TeenDriving.AAA.com has a variety of tools, including licensing and state law information, to help prepare parents and teens for not only the dangerous summer driving season, but also all year long.