Just getting started is ‘100 Deadliest Days’ for teens behind wheel

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, we have just recently entered the “100 Deadliest Days,” of summer, that period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when fatal teen automobile crashes historically climb.

The foundation has just released a report showing nearly two-thirds of persons injured or killed in automobile crashes involving teen drivers are people other than the teenager.

The study – which looked at data of police-reported crashes of drivers aged 15-19, from 1994 through 2013 – also showed nearly half of those injured in these accidents were in another vehicle; another 17 percent were in the teen driver’s car and 2 percent were non-motorists, including bicyclists and pedestrians.

“Teen crash rates are higher than any other age group and this data confirms that the impact of their crashes extend well beyond the teen who is behind the wheel,” Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said in a news release. “Since teens drive more during the summer than any other season, this insight is a timely reminder to everyone -drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists – to be mindful when sharing the roads with young drivers.”

In 2013, 371,645 people were injured and 2,927 were killed in crashes that involved a teen driver, according to the study.

We agree this is a good time to be reminded of these facts. AAA is promoting the study’s results to raise awareness among parents of teen drivers and all drivers, especially during the “100 Deadliest Days.”

We strongly back AAA’s efforts to try to reduce teen-driver crashes, injuries and fatalities.

Based on a AAA analysis of the federal government’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, in 2013, an average of 220 teen drivers and passengers died in traffic crashes during each of the summer months, which was a 43 percent increase compared to the rest of the year.

“Everyone has an incentive to keep teen drivers safe during the summer – and all year long – because it makes roads safer for everyone,” Jennifer Ryan, AAA director of state relations, said.

We know summer is a busy time and driving distractions increase. Taking a few minutes to consider these statistics and discuss the issue with teen drivers may prevent a crash.

Tools to help parents prepare for teen summer driving and other resources to coach teens through the learning-to drive process, including a parent-teen driving agreement, may be found on AAA’s website at: www.TeenDriving.AAA.com.