New teenaged drivers between the ages of 16-17 years old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
This alarming finding becomes particularly heightened during what the not-for-profit traffic safety organization has dubbed the “100 Deadliest Days,” which begins every Memorial Day and runs through Labor Day.
Research conducted over many decades by the AAA Foundation — whose mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by identifying their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur — reveals that the average number of deadly teen driver crashes climbs 15 percent during this 100 day period when compared to the rest of the year. Over the past five years, more than 1,600 people were killed, particularly in big cities like New York, in crashes involving inexperienced teenaged drivers during this period.
Tips for Reducing Teenaged Drivers Car Accidents During “100 Deadliest Days,”
“To keep roads safer this summer, or at any other time of the year,” Jay W. Dankner, Managing Partner of the Top New York car accident injury law firm of Dankner Milstein advises, “I encourage parents to have conversations with their teens early and often about the issues of distraction and speeding.
“Teach by example,” Dankner added, “to minimize risky behavior when driving. For example, work with a young driver on a parent-teen-driving “agreement” that sets family rules. Add to that a requirement that your child prepares for the responsibility of driving by enrolling him or her in a driver education program that teaches how to avoid driver distraction and other safety skills.”
The Foundation’s research found that inexperience paired, with greater exposure on the road, could create a deadly combination for teenaged drivers.
AAA’s latest study, entitled Rates of Motor Vehicle Crashes, Injuries, and Deaths in Relation to Driver Age, analyzes crash rates per mile driven for all drivers and found that for every mile on the road, drivers ages 16-17 years old are:
- 9 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a crash
- 6 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a fatal crash
- 5 times as likely as drivers 30-59 to be involved in a crash
- 2 times as likely as drivers 30-59 to be involved in a fatal crash
An AAA researcher who worked on the study said fatal teen crashes are on the rise. He noted that the number of teenaged drivers who were involved in fatal crashes increased more than 10 percent from the previous year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2015 crash data, the latest data available.
To reverse this alarming trend, Dankner urges, parents must become engaged in their children’s driver training and do whatever they can to help influence their attitude when behind the wheel.
“If we expect to reduce the number of deadly crashes on the road”, Dankner said. “parents must get more involved in talking to their children about the dangers of risky behavior behind the wheel. Parents are the front line of defense for keeping our roads safer. It all starts with educating teenagers about safety on the road and modeling good behavior, like staying off the phone, buckling their seat belt, paying attention to your surroundings and staying within posted speed limits. And always ‘watch out for the other guy,’ anticipating what he or she may do. Stay vigilant and alert at all times.”