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AAA Urges Teen Driver Safety During '100 Deadliest Days'

Teen driver keeps hands on the steering wheel looking ahead at the traffic.

The "100 Deadliest Days" refers to the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is a time when fatal car accidents involving teen drivers spike significantly. AAA coined this term after analyzing alarming data on teen driver-related fatalities.

Between 2013 and 2022, 6,697 people died in crashes involving teen drivers during these summer months, almost half of the total fatalities for the entire rest of the year. In 2022 alone, 707 people lost their lives in such crashes, marking a 10 percent increase from pre-pandemic numbers in 2019.

Fatal crashes in NY involving teen drivers

In New York State, 13 people were killed in teen driver crashes during the summer of 2022. Over the 10-year period from 2013 to 2022, 151 people died in teen driver-related crashes during the "100 Deadliest Days," averaging 15 deaths each summer. This is a stark contrast to the 274 fatalities over the nine non-summer months during the same period.

Mike Formanowicz is a driver training manager at AAA Western and Central New York. He stresses the importance of parental involvement: "Young drivers look forward to summer for freedom from school, but it's crucial for parents to discuss traffic safety and model good driving behavior. Putting the phone down while driving sets a great example."

What are the leading risk factors in teen driver car accidents in New York?

Teen drivers are at higher risk of car accidents due to their inexperience. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Culture Index reports that about 72% of teen drivers aged 16 to 18 admitted to engaging in risky behaviors, including:

  • Driving 10 mph over the speed limit on residential streets (47%)
  • Driving 15 mph over the speed limit on freeways (40%)
  • Texting (35%)
  • Running red lights (32%)
  • Aggressive driving (31%)
  • Drowsy driving (25%)
  • Driving without a seatbelt (17%)

How can teen driver car accidents be prevented?

AAA driving instructors provide several recommendations for teens to ensure safer driving, including keeping phones out of reach, obeying speed limits, and avoiding impairing substances such as alcohol and marijuana. In addition, parents play a critical role in shaping safe driving habits for their teens. Here are detailed actions parents can take:

1. Have frequent discussions with teens about safe driving practices:

  • Avoiding Speeding: Emphasize the importance of adhering to speed limits and explain the increased risk of accidents at higher speeds.
  • Preventing Impairment: Discuss the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other substances, and the legal and health consequences of such actions.
  • Minimizing Distractions: Talk about the risks associated with using mobile phones, eating, or engaging in any distracting activities while driving.

2. Model safe behavior:

  • Buckle Up: Always wear your seatbelt and ensure all passengers do the same to set a good example.
  • Follow Speed Limits: Consistently adhere to posted speed limits and demonstrate the importance of adjusting speed according to road conditions.
  • No Distracted Driving: Avoid using your phone or engaging in other distractions while driving to reinforce safe habits.

3. Conduct at least 50 hours of supervised practice driving:

  • Varied Conditions: Practice driving with your teen in different conditions, such as night driving, highway driving, and adverse weather, to build their confidence and skills.
  • Feedback and Guidance: Provide constructive feedback during practice sessions to help your teen improve and correct any mistakes in real time.
  • Gradual Increase in Complexity: Start with simple driving environments and gradually move to more complex scenarios as your teen's skills improve.

4. Establish a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement:

  • Clear Family Rules: Create a written agreement that outlines specific rules and expectations regarding driving behavior, curfews, and consequences for breaking rules.
  • Responsibilities and Privileges: Clearly define the responsibilities associated with driving and the privileges that come with following the agreed-upon rules.
  • Regular Reviews: Periodically review and update the agreement to reflect your teen’s growing experience and responsibility.

5. Enroll Teens in Driver Education Programs:

  • Comprehensive Training: Choose programs that offer comprehensive training on driving techniques, traffic laws, and road safety.
  • Distracted Driving Avoidance: Ensure the program includes modules on the dangers of distracted driving and strategies to avoid distractions.
  • Simulated Experiences: Some programs provide simulated driving experiences to prepare teens for real-world scenarios they might not encounter during supervised practice.

Consult a car accident attorney if you've been injured

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, your life could change quickly. Suddenly, you’re facing severe injuries, mounting medical bills, and a long recovery. The good news is that you don't have to deal with this difficult time alone.

At Giampa Law, our experienced car accident lawyers understand the challenges you’re facing. We have a proven track record of successfully handling cases just like yours, and we’re committed to fighting for the justice and financial compensation you deserve. For example, in one case, we obtained a $1.5 million settlement for a client who sustained neck and back injuries in a rear-end collision that took place in Bronx County.

Our legal team will take the time to understand the specifics of your car accident, explain your legal options, and develop a personalized strategy to secure the best possible outcome for your case. We also work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay us unless we win your case. Take the first step toward recovery and justice. Contact Giampa Law today for a free case evaluation. We have offices in The Bronx and Valhalla, NY.

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