Graduation and the beginning of summer mark what is known as the 100 Deadliest Days for teen drivers. As this time begins, the release of a new traffic study has shown just how dangerous these days can be for Austin teenagers.
The study, produced by AAA, shows that deaths during the 100 Deadliest Days increased 10 percent in 2015 (the year with the most recent available data) from 2014. To combat this trend, AAA encourages parents to discuss safe driving practices with their teens and to get more involved in their driving.
There are three common causes of deadly crashes for teen drivers:
- Distracted driving – Distraction plays a role in almost six out of 10 teen crashes. Top distractions include cell phone use and talking to other people in their cars.
- Not wearing a seat belt – In 2015, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in crashes were not buckled up.
- Speeding – Nearly 30 percent of fatal teen crashes involve speeding.
The data also pointed out other sobering statistics regarding teen driver fatality. Analysis of crash rates per mile driven for all drivers shows that for every mile driven, drivers aged 16-17 are:
- 9 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in an accident
- 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.
As a parent, you are your child’s front line of defense against fatal accidents. Open a line of communication with your child and do what you can to encourage safe driving practices.