Summer Season a Deadly Time for Teen Drivers, According to AAA

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More than 1,050 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver in 2016 during the 100 Deadliest Days, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. That’s an average of 10 people per day – a 14 percent increase compared to the rest of the year, according to data analyzed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

As school lets out for summer, AAA stresses the importance of preparing and educating inexperienced teen drivers for some of the most dangerous driving days of the year.

“The number of fatal crashes involving teen drivers during the summer is an important traffic safety concern and research shows that young drivers are at greater risk and have higher crash rates compared to older and more experienced drivers,” said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director. “Through education, proper training, and involvement of parents, we can help our young drivers to become better and safer drivers, which in turn keeps the roads safer for everyone.”

Speed and nighttime driving are significant factors contributing towards the number of crashes, and subsequently fatalities, involving teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days (statistics based on 2016 NHTSA FARS data as analyzed by the AAA Foundation):

Nighttime Driving

  • 36 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involving teen drivers occurred between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
  • 1 in 10 of all motor vehicle nighttime crash fatalities involved a teen driver.
  • Data show a 22 percent increase in the average number of nighttime crashes per day involving teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days compared to the rest of the year.

Speeding

  • 1 in 10 of all motor vehicle speed-related fatalities involved a teen driver
  • 29 percent of all motor vehicle deaths involving a teen driver were speed-related

“Teen crashes spike during the summer months because teens are out of school and on the road. Driving at night creates additional risks for teen drivers. Nearly every state, including Oregon, has laws restricting how late teens may be out on the roads,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “This is a good reminder for parents to be actively involved with their teens as they learn how to drive, understand the risks and know their state’s driving laws.”

Oregon has several driving restrictions in place for teen drivers:

Until 18 Years of Age:

  • You cannot operate a motor vehicle while using a mobile communication device, including talking on a cell phone and texting. Hands-free accessories are not allowed.

First Six Months:

  • You cannot drive with a passenger under age 20 who is not a member of your immediate family and
  • You cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless you are:
    • Driving between home and work.
    • Driving between home and a school event for which there is no other transportation available.
    • Driving for employment purposes.
    • Accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old.

Second Six Months:

  • You cannot drive with more than three passengers who are under age 20 who are not members of your immediate family and
  • You cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless you are:
    • Driving between home and work.
    • Driving between home and a school event for which there is no other transportation available.
    • Driving for employment purposes.
    • Accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 25 years old.

 

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