AAA has advice for parents, teens as “100 Deadliest Days” begin
PORTLAND, Ore., – AAA finds that the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are when the number of crash fatalities involving teen drivers rise. In Oregon, 72 people died in crashes involving teen drivers in the 10 years from 2010 through 2019. This averages to more than seven people dying each summer, compared to an average of more than 15 deaths in crashes involving teen drivers during the rest of the year in Oregon. Almost a third (32%) of all fatal crashes involving teen drivers in Oregon occur during the “100 Deadliest Days.”
Nationwide, more than 7,000 people died in teen driving-related summertime crashes during this 10-year period. That’s more than seven people per day during these 100 days compared to six people per day the rest of the year. Find data here.
For 2019, Oregon ranks 29th in the country for most per-capita crash fatalities involving teen drivers with nearly seven deaths in crashes involving teen drivers per one million population. Find the complete list here.
Montana and Wyoming have the highest per-capita deaths in crashes involving teen drivers with more than 19 deaths. Rhode Island had no deaths in crashes involving teen drivers in 2019.
A data analysis done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that for every mile driven, new teen drivers ages 16-17 years old are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to adults. According to previous AAA research, nearly two-thirds of the people killed in a crash involving a youthful driver are someone other than the teen, including passengers, pedestrians, and drivers of other vehicles.
“Due to their inexperience, teen drivers are at a higher risk of crashes. Fatal crashes involving teen drivers go up during the summer months because teens tend to have more unstructured time behind the wheel. They’re driving to jobs, meeting friends and traveling to summer destinations,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.
According to the latest AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index, about 72% of teen drivers aged 16-18 admitted to having engaged in at least one of the following risky behaviors in the past 30 days:
- Driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street (47%)
- Driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway (40%)
- Texting (35%)
- Red-light running (32%)
- Aggressive driving (31%)
- Drowsy driving (25%)
- Driving without a seatbelt (17%)
AAA has advice for parents:
Studies show that teen drivers become safer behind the wheel if they receive instruction by a trained professional and ongoing support and coaching from their parents:
- Talk with teens early and often about safe driving behaviors including wearing seatbelts, staying focused and complying with speed limits.
- Talk with teens about dangerous behaviors behind the wheel, such as speeding, impairment and distracted driving.
- Have your teen complete a comprehensive driver education course.
- Teach by example and minimize risky behavior when driving.
- Establish a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.
- Conduct at least 50 hours of supervised practice driving with their teen.
AAA has helpful tools for parents and teens:
- Visit TeenDriving.AAA.com for information and resources for parents and teens.
- Check out the free AAA Coaching Guide for Parents with behind-the-wheel lesson plans, and some “DOs and DON’Ts” to make the learning experience go as smoothly as possible.
- The online AAA StartSmart Parent Session also offers excellent resources for parents on how to become effective in-car coaches as well as advice on how to manage their teen’s overall driving privileges.
AAA’s tips for parents coaching their teen drivers:
|Share your driving wisdom and experience||Don’t take the same route twice; use slightly different routes as much as possible|
|Stay cool when your teen says, “Don’t yell at me!”||Don’t view your teen as your chauffer – they need your eyes, attention, and coaching|
|Drive in different conditions (weather, lighting, and road type)||Don’t focus too much on basic maneuvers – your teen will quickly pick those up|
|Aim for smoothness – pretend there’s a cup of water on the dash||Don’t say too much, but offer immediate feedback as needed|
“Parents hold the key to teaching their teens to be safe drivers. Talk to your teens often about what being a safe driver means, and teach them about the dangers of speeding and impaired and distracted driving. It’s also important for you to set a good example behind the wheel as your teens won’t take you seriously if you engage in unsafe driving behaviors,” says Dodds.
AAA news releases, high resolution images, broadcast-quality video, fact sheets and podcasts are available on the AAA NewsRoom at NewsRoom.AAA.com.
Find local news releases at https://www.oregon.aaa.com/category/news-releases/