'100 Deadliest Days': Most fatal teen driver crashes happen between now and Labor Day

The unofficial start of summer has passed, and that means we are now in what is known as the "100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers," according to AAA.

Nearly half of all teen driver-related crash deaths happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

From 2013 to 2022, there were 6,700 people killed in crashes involving teen drivers nationwide during the "100 Deadliest Days." In 2022, there was a 10% increase in teen driver-related crashes during this time compared to pre-pandemic numbers.

"The risk gets higher during the summer for teen drivers and everyone else they share the road with," said Adrienne Woodland, the spokeswoman for AAA – The Auto Club Group. "With the end of the school year upon us, these young, inexperienced drivers will spend more time on the road with their friends."

According to AAA, for every mile driven, new teen drivers who are 16 to 17 years old are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to adults. AAA added that crashes are the leading cause of death for teens ages 16-19. 

Distracted driving, having passengers speeding, and not wearing a seat belt all increase the risk of a deadly crash involving a teen, AAA said.

On average, 63 teen drivers are involved in fatal crashes each year, with 36% of them happening during the 100 Deadliest Days. According to data provided by AAA, these crashes result in an average of 68 deaths per year, with 36% occurring between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

"The important thing to realize is the people killed in these crashes are not always the teen driver, but it can be their passengers or anyone else they encounter on the road," Woodland said. "AAA shares this information to remind all drivers to stay alert while behind the wheel this summer. We also encourage parents to have a serious discussion with their teen about the importance of being a safe driver."

AAA provided safety tips for having a conversation with your teen driver:

  • Lead by example. Minimize risky behavior when you drive. Don’t drive aggressively, avoid distractions, and always wear your seatbelt. Your driving skills and judgement behind the wheel shape your child’s view of safe driving habits, even before they’re old enough to drive. Make safe driving a priority in your own life.
  • Conduct at least 50 hours of supervised practice driving. Let your teen drive in a variety of conditions including inclement weather, busy interstates, and at night. This will help them become a more confident driver in imperfect situations.Teach defensive driving skills. Help your teen anticipate potential risks by constantly scanning the road for hazards. Then share advice for how to safely avoid them.
  • Establish a parent-teen driving agreement which sets family rules like when the teen can drive, where they can go and with who. Then clearly outline the consequences for breaking the rules and rewards for driving safe.

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