The Deadliest Driving Season for Teens
With annual events like proms and graduation parties, and, of course, the start of summer vacation, teens are more likely to be on the road this time of year; but parents beware, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has been labeled the "100 Deadliest Days" for teen drivers.
According to AAA, an average of 399 teens died in traffic crashes during each of the summer months (May-August), compared to a monthly average of 346 teen deaths during non-summer months. The seven most dangerous days on the road for teens during summer are May 20, May 23, June 10, July 4, July 9, August 8 and August 14.
To keep teens safe during these dangerous months and year-round, AAA suggests the following tips for parents:
- Eliminate trips without purpose.
- Limit passengers. Fatal crash rates for 16- to 19-year-olds increase fivefold when two or more teen passengers are present versus when teens drive alone.
- Restrict night driving. A teen driver’s chances of being involved in a deadly crash doubles at night.
- Establish a parent-teen driving agreement. Written agreements help set and enforce clear rules about night driving, passengers, access to the car and more.
- Enroll teens in summer driving school.
- Be there. Make sure your teen knows that if they need help, advice or a ride, they can call you at any time. Extend this offer often and let your teen know that you are always available should they need your help.
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A Word from MADD's National President
|As parents, it is our job to give our kids the tools they need to grow up to be safe and responsible adults, and sometimes that means letting them take certain risks so that they can learn consequences. But when it comes to driving, it is important to emphasize to your teen driver how dangerous it can be on the roads. Teens often feel invincible, and that bad things will not happen to them, but I know first-hand that they do. Safe and assertive driving is not something to be taken lightly. Use the tips provided above, set ground rules, and talk with your teens often about how to be a safe and responsible driver.
There is still much more to be done and we can’t achieve our goals without you.