May 28, 2015 2:37 PM by Ally Triolo
Summer is the most dangerous time for young drivers says AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Teens drive more in summer months than any other time of year, which is why AAA has claimed this time of year as the "100 Deadliest Days." AAA is spotlighting its new report, "Teen Driver Crashes 1994-2013," on its website to remind teens to drive safely.
AAA analyzed police-reported crashes of drivers aged 15-19, and found that, "the number of young drivers involved in motor vehicle crashes each year has declined."
The report found that in the past 20 years, non-fatal injury crashes and fatal crashes of teen drivers decreased by 51 percent and 56 percent respectively. In comparison, all non-fatal and fatal crashes including those of teen drivers fell by 25 percent and 17 percent respectively.
However, the report also found that while the overall number of teen crashes are down, the majority of people killed (66 percent) and injured (67 percent) in crashes involving a teen driver are people other than the teen themselves. The study says that nearly 50 percent of those injured were in another vehicle; 17 percent were in the teen driver's car; and two percent were either a pedestrian or bicyclist. The study continues to state that nearly 30 percent of those killed were in another car, 27 percent were the teen's passenger and 10 percent were either a pedestrian or bicyclist.
AAA has been a decades-long supporter on behalf of teen drivers and their families and has been a leader at the state level in advocating for the implementation and improvement of both Graduated Driver Licensing laws and quality driver education programs.
"To help their teen drivers to be safe on the roads this summer parents can create a contract with their teen," suggests Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokesperson. "This contract could use the Graduated Driving laws as a guideline to include nighttime curfews, limitation on the number of passengers, and prohibiting the use of cell phones and other distractions. Parents can also ride with their teens to monitor their progress and to help them with new driving situations such as canyon or freeway driving."
AAA has online resources to help parents coach teens through the learning-to-drive process. The AAA StartSmart online program is helpful to parents to quickly become effective in-car coaches, make informed decisions about access to a vehicle and manage their teen's overall driving privileges.