Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- With deadly traffic crashes peaking for teens during the summer months of June, July and August, AAA urges parents of teens to increase their focus on safety during the school-free months ahead.
Summer is the deadliest time of year for teen drivers and passengers with seven of the top 10 deadliest days of the year occurring between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to an analysis of crash data by AAA.
“Parents should not underestimate the critical role they play in keeping their teens safe, especially during these high-risk months,” said Tom Chestnut, President and CEO of AAA Western and Central New York. “With the majority of the most dangerous days falling during the traditional summer vacation months, parents must realize that there is no summer break from safety and be vigilant about remaining involved and enforcing rules with their teens.”
According to crash analysis, over 7,300 teen drivers and passengers ages 13-19 died in traffic crashes between Memorial Day and Labor Day during the five-year period of 2005-2009. An average of 422 teens die in traffic crashes during each of the deadly summer months as compared to a monthly average of 363 teen deaths during off-summer months.
The 10 deadliest days for teen drivers and passengers are January 21, May 20, May 26, June 10, July 2, July 4, July 9, July 15, July 23, and November 11.
AAA suggests the following tips for parents to keep teen drivers safe:
Restrict driving and eliminate trips without purpose – Based on miles driven, teens have three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers and teen crash risk is highest during the first year of solo driving. Parents should limit teens driving to essential trips with parental permission for at least the first year of driving. Statistics show six in ten teens have a reported collision in the first year of driving.
Become an effective driving coach – The best way for new teen drivers to gain experience is through supervised practice driving. Even after a teen has a license that allows solo driving, parents and teens should continue to practice driving together to help manage more complex driving conditions. AAA’s complete driver training school can help with valuable resources and is available at www.AAA.com or by calling (800) 836-2582.
Limit the number of teen passengers and time as a passenger – Teen crash rates increase with each teen passenger in the vehicle. Fatal crash rates for 16- to 19-year-olds increases fivefold when two or more teen passengers are present versus teens driving alone. Parents should set firm rules against driving with teen passengers and restrict their teens from riding as a passenger with a teen driver.
Restrict night driving – A teen driver’s chances of being involved in a deadly crash doubles when driving at night. Many parents rightly limit driving during the highest-risk late night hours, yet they should limit evening driving as well. More than half of nighttime crashes occur between 9 p.m. and midnight. AAA recommends that newly-licensed teens not drive after 9 p.m. unless accompanied by a responsible adult. New York State GDL restricts permit-holding drivers or junior license holders from driving between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Establish a parent-teen driving agreement – Many parents and teens find written agreements help set and enforce clear rules about night driving, passengers, access to the car, and more. AAA offers a customizable parent-teen driving agreement on its teen driving website, www.teendriving.aaa.com.