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AAA Reveals Alarming Teen Crash Rates

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New teen driver’s ages 16 to 17 years old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash.  This, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  This alarming finding is reported as what officials call the “100 deadliest days” begin.  It’s the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day where the average number of teen driver crashes climbs 15 percent.  One expert says that despite these numbers, parents can help keep their kids safe.

“With school out, teens and their friends getting into cars, driving to their friend’s houses, to beaches to the malls. The frequency of teens on the roads, has drastically increased.”

And with more teens on the roadways, David VanderWeele, AAA Field Manager in West Michigan, says AAA has released a new study highlighting how dangerous the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day can be.  The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest study analyzes crash rates per mile driven for all drivers. 

“So what we see in our study, is an individual 16 to 17 years old, are 3.9 times more likely as drivers 18 years and older, to be involved in a severe crash; and we’re also seeing 4.5 times as llikely as drivers that are 30 to 59 being involved in a crash. A lot of it has to do, your older drivers are more experienced.  Your younger drivers take risks, they drive too fast.”

“VanderWeele says the report also lists 3 factors that commonly result in deadly crashes:

“General distractions while driving, not buckling up, we still have to get word out that everyone has to buckle up. And speeding. Its summer, the weather’s nice, you’re not paying attention to the road conditions so you’re a little too comfortable as a young driver and you’re exceeding the speed limit and those items really drive up the numbers on our crash data.”

While the data is alarming, VanderWeele says he’s hopeful things can improve.

“We really need parents to become involved, helping to educate their teens, also leading by examples.  The great news about all of this, we as a community, as parents, as individuals, we have control to make this data better. We can limit the distractions in our cars, we can drive the speed limits, we can make sure we’re buckling up.  We’re confident, we can make it a safer place to drive.”