Wilmington Attorney On Best Ideas to Avoid Teen Driver Crashes During 100 Deadliest Days
We’re still in the midst of the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers – which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This is the time of year when fatal crashes involving teen drivers spike.
While many factors are involved in crashes involving teen drivers, the American Automobile Association (AAA) has identified the three primary causes – speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving.
Speeding is the most common factor
Speeding was found to be the most common factor and accounts for 28 percent of all fatal teen crashes during the 100 Deadliest Days.
According to the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, nearly 50 percent of teen drivers admitted to speeding on a residential street within the past 30 days. Nearly 40 percent admitted to speeding on a freeway.
Distracted teen driving is four times the federal estimates
Since the advent of cellphones, infotainment systems, and other electronic devices, distracted driving has risen significantly among drivers of all ages.
Distraction is a factor in nine percent of fatal teen crashes during the 100 Deadliest Days. According to AAA’s 2017 Traffic Safety Culture Index, more than 50 percent of teen drivers admitted to reading a text and email messages within the past 30 days. Nearly 40 percent admitted to sending texts and email during the same period.
In another study using in-vehicle dash-cam footage, AAA researchers determined that distracted driving was a factor in 58 percent of crashes involving teens, accounting for approximately four times the federal estimates.
Impaired driving is more prevalent than you think
If you think some teens aren’t driving under the influence of alcohol, simply because they’re too young to purchase it, think again. Drunk driving is a factor in roughly 17 percent of fatal teen crashes. In addition, one in six teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were found to have alcohol in their system.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, underage drinking is more prevalent than many people think. In 2015, more than 7 million youths ages 12 to 20 reported that they consumed alcohol beyond “just a few sips” within a month of being surveyed.
About 60 percent of teens between ages 15 and 18 – the period when most teen drivers obtain driver’s licenses – have had at least one drink.
How the risk can be mitigated
Teens are not experienced drivers and often have much to learn even after obtaining driver’s licenses. Moreover, teen drivers are more likely to take risks.
In order to mitigate the likelihood of a crash, AAA encourages parents to be involved. This includes:
- Having an early discussion about the dangers of speeding, impaired driving, and distraction
- Teaching by example by not engaging in such risky behavior
- Setting rules and establishing a parent-teen driving agreement
More resources and tips are available for both parents and teen drivers at TeenDriving.AAA.com.
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