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Summer months are most deadly for teen drivers

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- An analysis from AAA finds seven of the top 10 deadliest days for teens occur during the summer months. 

The auto club reminds parents that summer vacation should not be a vacation from safety.

Teens are involved in the most deadly traffic crashes during the summer months of June, July and August.

AAA urges parents of teens to increase their focus on safety during the school-free months ahead.

"Parents should not underestimate the critical role they play in keeping their teens safe, especially during these high-risk months," said AAA Vice President of Public Affairs Kathleen Marvaso.

According to AAA, over 7,300 teen drivers and passengers ages 13-19 died in traffic crashes between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays during the five-year period of 2005-2009.

An average of 422 teens die in traffic crashes during each of the deadly summer months as compared to a monthly average of 363 teen deaths during the non-summer months.

AAA suggests the following tips for parents to keep teen drivers safe:

  • Restrict driving and eliminate trips without purpose; teens have three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers, based on amount of miles driven, and a teen's crash risk is highest during the first year of solo driving. Parents should limit teens' driving to essential trips and only with parental permission for at least the first year of driving.

  • Become an effective driving coach. The best way for new teen drivers to gain experience is through parent-supervised practice driving, where parents can share their wisdom accumulated over many years of driving. Even after a teen has a license that allows solo driving, parents and teens should continue to practice driving together to help the teen manage increasingly more complex and challenging driving conditions.

  • Limit the number of teen passengers and time as a passenger. Teen crash rates increase with each teen passenger in the vehicle. Fatal crash rates for teens ages 16-19 increase fivefold when two or more teen passengers are present versus when teens drive alone. Also, riding in a vehicle with a teen driver can be risky for teen passengers. Crash risk begins to increase at the age of 12, well before a teen can obtain a driver's permit or license - and before many parents start to think about their children being at risk riding as a passenger of a teen driver. Parents should set firm rules against driving with teen passengers and restrict their teens from riding as a passenger with a teen driver.

  • Restrict night driving - A teen driver's chances of being involved in a deadly crash doubles when driving at night. Many parents rightly limit driving during the highest-risk late night hours, yet they should limit evening driving as well, as more than half of nighttime crashes occur between 9 p.m. and midnight. 

  • Establish a parent-teen driving agreement - Many parents and teens find written agreements help set and enforce clear rules about night driving, passengers, access to the car, and more. 

 

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