RICHMOND, Va. -- The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is called the “100 Deadliest Days” on the road by the travel experts at AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Fatal crashes involving teen drivers nearly double in summer months as compared to the rest of the year, according to the group, which added everyone faces increased crash risks.
“This time of year is the deadliest not just for teens, but for everyone on the roadways, including pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists,” a AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson wrote in an email to CBS 6. “As summer arrives, AAA is reminding all road users, regardless of age, to be especially diligent about their safety as well as the safety of others.”
Among the statistics, AAA points out:
- 32 percent of all vehicle fatalities in Virginia between 2012-2021 involved a teen driver during the summer months
- 36 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involving teen drivers occurred between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. (per the NHTSA)
- 29 percent of all motor vehicle deaths involving a teen driver were speed-related
“I worried about them out late at night or past the time they should be out,” mother Denise Fisher told CBS 6 News of the days her children started driving. “I worried about other cars and worried about their friends in the car with them and where they were going. I worried about all of that.”
To help worried parents, AAA Mid-Atlantic encourages adults to lead by example and establish a parent-teen driving agreement that sets the rules for young drivers. They also support a AAA Teen Driver Website with tools for avoiding dangerous driving mistakes.
“Teen drivers spend more time behind the wheel in summer months and they certainly have less experience than those who have been driving for years,” Morgan Dean, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said. “But tragedy can impact drivers of any age when good driving behaviors fall by the wayside.”
“There's so many factors out there that people don't think about when they're driving, especially younger drivers,” driver Charlotte Coffey said. “We're so distracted these days, by phones, food, whatever. Obviously, you want to be as safe as you can on the road, especially during the summers and holidays and that includes regular maintenance like putting air in your tires and checking your mirrors.”
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