AAA to parents: Warn teens about summer driving

Car Accident

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are especially dangerous for teen drivers and AAA New Mexico is reminding parents, teens and drivers about the increased crash risk that teens face during the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.”

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States and teens have the highest crash rate of any age group.

An average of 261 teens die in traffic crashes nationwide during each of the summer months, a 26 percent increase compared to the rest of the year. Over the course of 5 years, nearly 4,000 teen drivers and passengers (between 13 and 19 years old) died in traffic crashes between Memorial Day and Labor Day, making this period the deadliest season for teens.

Teen passengers can be a distraction for novice teen drivers and contribute to teens taking unnecessary risks behind the wheel.  Compared to driving without any passengers, a teen’s fatal crash risk:

  • Quadruples when carrying three or more passengers younger than 21
  • Doubles when carrying two passengers younger than 21
  •  Increases by 44 percent when carrying one passenger younger than 21

Parents can help manage young drivers by:

  • Determining when teens can test for a permit or license
  • Supervising practice driving including in a variety of conditions like heavy traffic and bad weather
  •  Enforcing New Mexico’s Graduated Driver License Laws
  •  Regulating teens’ access to vehicles
  • Setting additional limits on their newly licensed teens
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