Last summer, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study analyzing the deadliest behaviors of teen drivers. The timing of the study’s release was crucial because it fell right before the 100 deadliest days, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, where fatalities are highest involving teen drivers.
It’s critical for parents to revisit these behaviors and address them before teens hit the roads this summer. The study broke it down to three of the most deadly risks for teen drivers precisely.
Most drivers are aware of the dangers behind speeding. However, almost 50 percent of teenagers admit to speeding through a residential area or on the highway. Every time a teen driver speeds, they significantly increase their likelihood of accidents and injuries. It’s crucial that all drivers, including teens, follow speed limits.
While most drivers are susceptible to distractions, teen drivers are more likely to experience disturbances related to their phones. According to the AAA, over half of teenagers admit to reading a text message or using their phones while driving. It only gets worse as teens rely on their phones for school, directions and constant communication with friends and family. It’s not surprising to learn that distraction is the leading cause for teen driver crashes, approximately four times as many as federal estimates.
Unfortunately, summer is also a prime season for underage drinking. Many kids use the time away from school to experiment with drugs or alcohol. Afterward, some of those teens will drive home or to other locations. Drinking and driving is incredibly dangerous under all circumstances, but it’s worse when parents learn that one out of six accidents with teen drivers is caused by intoxicated driving.
While these three hazards specifically focus on teen drivers, it doesn’t mean that every teenager makes these mistakes. It’s up to the parents to communicate the best ways for kids to travel safely and react defensively on the roadways.