The combination of closed schools, canceled activities and COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, could prove deadly as teens take to the road this summer.
Nationwide, more than 30 percent of deaths involving teen drivers occur during the “100 Deadliest Days” - a period that runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
“School is out and summer is in, which means young inexperienced drivers will spend more time on the roads, increasing the chances that they’re involved in a crash, said Mark Jenkins spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “For every mile driven, new teen drivers (ages 16-17 years old) are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to adults. AAA urges parents to model safe driving behaviors and help ensure their teens practice them too.”
Due to their inexperience, teen drivers are at a higher risk of crashes. According to the new AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index, about 72% of teen drivers aged 16-18 admitted to engaging in at least one of the following risky behaviors in the past 30 days:
“Parents remain the best line of defense to keep everyone safe behind the wheel,” said Jenkins. “It’s never too soon to educate teens on the dangers of distracted driving, speeding, and the impairing effects of alcohol and marijuana. But we can’t just tell teens about the dangers. We must also lead by example and avoid dangerous driving behaviors.”
To support parents in conducting practice driving sessions during COVID-19 and beyond, AAA is providing a free four-page guide to help parents coach their teens on how to drive safely. The “Coaching Your New Driver – An In-Car Guide for Parents” AAA ParentCoachingGuide 2020 offers behind-the-wheel lesson plans, including a variety of “DOs and DON’Ts” to make the learning experience as helpful as possible. For parents, the guide can be beneficial as they coach their teens on a variety of routes, building on their formal behind-the-wheel training.
TeenDriving.AAA.com has a variety of tools to help prepare parents and teens for the dangerous summer driving season. The online AAA StartSmart Parent Session also offers excellent resources for parents on how to become effective in-car coaches as well as advice on how to manage their teen’s overall driving privileges. Teens preparing for the responsibility of driving should enroll in a driver education program that teaches how to avoid driver distraction and other safety skills. AAADrive™ can help your teen drive responsibly by setting driving parameters with the AAA Mobile app. Download it by texting MOBILEAPP to 99513.
About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by researching their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.
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