(Irving, TX) – As schools across Texas let out for summer break, AAA Texas reminds parents, teens and drivers about the increased crash risk that teens face during the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States and teens have the highest crash rate of any age group.
The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are especially dangerous for teen drivers. An average of 261 teens die in traffic crashes nationwide during each of the summer months, a 26 percent increase compared to the rest of the year.
Over the course of 5 years, nearly 4,000 teen drivers and passengers (between 13 and 19 years old) died in traffic crashes between Memorial Day and Labor Day, making this period the deadliest season for teens.
“The summer months are an especially dangerous time for teens because often teens have more freedom, they are with other young people, and they may not fully understand the potential risks they face while on the road,” said AAA Texas/New Mexico Representative Doug Shupe. “Parental involvement during this time plays a crucial role in lowering risky driving, traffic violations and crashes among teens behind the wheel.”
Teen passengers can be a distraction for novice teen drivers and contribute to teens taking unnecessary risks behind the wheel. Compared to driving without any passengers, a teen’s fatal crash risk:
- Quadruples when carrying 3 or more passengers younger than 21
- Doubles when carrying 2 passengers younger than 21
- Increases by 44 percent when carrying one passenger younger than 21
Parents can help manage young drivers by:
- Determining when teens can test for a permit or license
- Supervising practice driving including in a variety of conditions like heavy traffic and bad weather
- Enforcing Texas’ Graduated Driver License Laws
- Regulating teens’ access to vehicles
- Setting additional limits on their newly licensed teens
AAA has a range of programs that can help parents keep their teens safe on the road, including parent-teen driving agreements, a Teaching Your Teens To Drive video and our award-winning teen driver safety website for families. Visit TeenDriving.AAA.com for more information.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA Texas can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. Follow AAA Texas on Twitter: @AAATexas and Facebook: www.facebook.com/AAATexas.