Ehstoday 7862 Teendriver3

Deadliest Season for Teen Drivers Begins

May 27, 2020
72% of teen drivers between 16 and 18 years old confessed to engaging in numerous risky behaviors when questioned.

As Memorial Day weekend becomes a memory, a new, deadly summer season begins.

This week begins what the American Automobile Association deems the "100 Deadliest Days," or the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day when fatal crashes involving teen drivers spikes. The organization reports that between 2008 and 2018,  more than 8,300 people were fatally injured in crashes involving teen drivers during this three-month period.

Theresa Podguski, director of legislative affairs for the American Automobile Association (AAA) East Central explains, “The crash data from the last decade are alarming, and with the combination of COVID-related factors at play this year, it’s essential for parents to talk with their teens now. Setting ground rules and modeling safe driving behaviors will go a long way towards saving lives.”

COVID-19-related restrictions could work against legislative and organizational efforts to lower the fatality rate among teen drivers. The bleak unemployment rate, canceled summer activities, and the re-opening of non-essential businesses mean these new motorists will have more time to get behind the wheel.

AAA analysis discovered that for every mile driven, drivers between the ages of 16 and 17 years old are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash when compared to adults with experience. Both the lack of experience and willingness to take greater risks on the road contribute to this statistic, the organization says.

The AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index, a recently-released tool, found that 72% of teen drivers between 16 and 18 years old confessed to numerous risky behaviors when questioned.

Nearly half, or 47% of those surveyed admitted to driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street. Forty percent of teen drivers also said they have driven more than 15 mph over the speed limit on America's highways.

Other behaviors teen motorists acknowledged were texting (35%), running a red light (32%) aggressive driving (31%), fatigued driving (25%) and driving without a seatbelt (17%).

The AAA states that parents remain the "best line of defense" when it comes to teen driver safety.

Jennifer Ryan, AAA’s director of state relations, says, “It’s never too soon to educate teens on the dangers of distracted driving, speeding, and the impairing effects of alcohol and marijuana. But actions speak louder than words. Remember to model good behavior because your teen won’t take your advice seriously if you don’t follow it yourself.”

The organization recommends discussing often the consequences of dangerous behaviors behind the wheel such as speeding, impairment and distracted driving. In addition, the AAA suggests parents get behind the wheels with their teen for 50 hours of supervised practice as well as setting "family rules" for driving. Lastly, parents should lead by example and remain cognizant of their own behaviors when driving.

Information and resources to assist parents are available on the AAA website.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Work Safety Tips: 5 Tactics to Build Employee Engagement for Workplace Safety

March 13, 2024
Employee safety engagement strategies have become increasingly key to fostering a safer workplace environment. But, how exactly do you encourage employee buy-in when it comes ...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!