UTICA — Nationwide, 7,124 people died in crashes involving teen drivers from 2011 to 2020 during the “100 Deadliest Days,” the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The combination of school holidays and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions could prove deadly as teenagers hit the road this summer. The AAA recommends that now is the time for parents to adopt safe driving behaviors and make sure their teens practice them too.
“There are more daily fatalities in crashes involving teen drivers during the summer months than the rest of the year because teens tend to spend more unstructured time behind the wheel,” said Patti Artessa, regional director of public and government affairs for AAA Northeast.
“So what can be done? We can encourage teens to try harder to stay focused while driving, buckle up for every trip and drive within posted speed limits,” Artessa added.
“It’s never too early to educate teens about the dangers of the harmful effects of alcohol and marijuana. But actions speak louder than words,” Artessa said.
“Remember to practice good behavior because your teenager won’t take your advice seriously if you don’t follow it yourself,” the regional manager added.
Support parents in communicating with their teens about driving safety. AAA Northeast offers online resources at AAA.com/DeadliestDays and on the club’s YouTube page.
Often, due to their inexperience, teenage drivers are at a higher risk of an accident. According to the AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index, approximately 72% of teen drivers ages 16-18 admitted to engaging in at least one of the following risky behaviors in the past 30 days:
– Driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street (47%);
-Driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway (40%);
-Red light (32%);
– Aggressive driving (31%);
– Drowsiness at the wheel (25%); and
-Driving without a seat belt (17%).
To make the roads safer this summer, AAA encourages parents to:
-Always buckle your seat belt;
– Refrain from driving while impaired;
– Put your phone away to focus on the task of driving; and
-Follow posted speed limits.
AAA Northeast is a nonprofit automobile club with 70 offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York, providing more than 6 million local AAA members with travel, insurance , finance and related self-services.