AAA: We’re in the start of ‘100 Deadliest Days’ for teen drivers
Press Release, AAA Western and Central New York
In New York State, 222 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the “100 Deadliest Days” from 2008 to 2018.
The “100 Deadliest Days” is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when fatal teen crashes increase dramatically. The number of people killed in crashes involving teen drivers, in New York, during rest of the year is 382 (for a total of 604 from 2008 to 2018).
The 222 people killed in summer months compared to 382 killed during non-summer months in N.Y., over the 10 years, is an increase of more than 70 percent. The 222 people killed in the summertime equates to a yearly average of 20.2 deaths.
Nationwide, more than 8,300 people died in crashes involving teen drivers during the “100 Deadliest Days” over the ten-year span. That’s more than seven people a day each summer. This year’s combination of schools closed, activities curtailed, summer jobs canceled, and COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, could prove deadly as teens take to the road this summer. AAA recommends that parents model safe driving behaviors and help ensure their teens practice them, too.
“The last decade of crash data shows that teens continue to be over-represented in crashes and summertime marks an increase of fatal crashes for this age group,” said Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Our data analysis has found that 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.”
Due to their inexperience, teen drivers are at a higher risk of crashes. According to the new AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index, about 72% of teen drivers aged 16-18 admitted to having engaged 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%)
- Texting (35%)
- Red-light running (32%)
- Aggressive driving (31%)
- Drowsy driving (25%)
- Driving without a seatbelt (17%)
“Parents remain the best line of defense to keep everyone safe behind the wheel,” said Jennifer Ryan, AAA’s Director of State Relations. “It’s never too soon to educate teens on the dangers of distracted driving, speeding, and the impairing effects of alcohol and marijuana. But actions speak louder than words. Remember to model good behavior because your teen won’t take your advice seriously if you don’t follow it yourself.”
To keep roads safe this summer, AAA encourages parents to:
- Talk with teens early and often about abstaining from dangerous behavior behind the wheel, such as speeding, impairment and distracted driving.
- Teach by example and minimize risky behavior when driving.
- Establish a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.
- Conduct at least 50 hours of supervised practice driving with their teen.