Surviving the summer: 100 deadliest days for teen drivers, AAA warns

Average of 158 people killed in teen driver-related crashes each year in Florida

The days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the most dangerous days for young drivers. A report from AAA finds deadly crashes involving teens go up by 30% this time of year.

This week marks the start of the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers.

According to AAA, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, an average of seven people per day are killed in crashes involving teen drivers nationwide.

In Florida, AAA reports an average of 158 people are killed in teen driver-related crashes every year. Roughly a quarter of those happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“Teen drivers are three times more likely to be killed in a crash than someone who is 20 years or older and that’s because teen drivers are inexperienced and often more impulsive than a more seasoned driver, which creates a more dangerous environment for not just the teen drivers but everyone else on the road as well,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said.

Over the summer, teens are out of school and spend more time in the car, and with the CDC lifting many pandemic restrictions, they’re likely to want to be out and about more than ever, Jenkins said.

“This increases the chances that they’re involved in a crash, and for every mile driven, new teen drivers (ages 16-17 years old) are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to adults,” Jenkins warned.

One of the main things AAA recommends to keep your teens safe behind the wheel is eliminating distractions, like cellphones and other teenage passengers.

To keep teens safe, AAA says it’s a good idea for parents to establish ground rules for driving, including

  • Always wear a seatbelt
  • Don’t use a cellphone behind the wheel
  • No speeding
  • No other teenagers in the car

“Teen passengers are one of the most dangerous sources of distractions due to a higher tendency for rowdy behavior, loud music and peer pressure,” Jenkins said.

The auto-group says it is also a good idea for parents to lead by example.

AAA recommends behind-the-wheel training and classes for teenage drivers to help young drivers learn good driving habits.

The auto group also has an online course for new drivers. Click here to learn more.

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