NYS Police share advice, AAA examines 10 years of data
By AAA of Western and Central New York
The “100 Deadliest Days” is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when fatal teen crashes increase dramatically. Nationwide, more than 7,038 people died in crashes involving teen drivers during the “100 Deadliest Days” over a 10-year period from 2010-19. That’s more than seven people a day each summer.
In New York state, 196 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the “100 Deadliest Days” over the 10-year span, down from 222 people from 2008-18. AAA continues to raise awareness in an effort to save lives.
AAA stated 196 people killed during summer months over the 10-year span equates to a summertime average of 19.6 deaths. It’s a dramatic increase from 320 people who were killed over the course of nine non-summer months over the 10-year period.
AAA teamed up with the New York State Police to raise awareness of traffic safety as Memorial Day kicked off the “100 Deadliest Days.” Trooper James O’Callaghan, public information officer for Troop A, pointed out the dangers of summer.
“Some may think that winter would be the worst season for young drivers, but it’s not; it’s summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day,” he explained. “These young drivers have grown up with a phone in their hand. Now is the time to separate that phone use from driving – mobile devices have no place behind the wheel.”
This summer, as communities reopen with COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, could prove deadly as teens enjoy newfound freedom. Due to their inexperience, teen drivers are at a higher risk of crashes. According to the latest AAA Foundation for 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%)
“Parents have plenty to be concerned about as their teen hits the road this summer,” said Elizabeth Carey, AAA Western and Central New York’s director of PR and corporate communications. “Teens are faced with more distractions than ever before, leading to deadly mistakes, and parents are the best line of defense to keep everyone safe behind the wheel.”
Teens should store phones out of reach, mind speed limits, and stay away from impairing substances such as alcohol and marijuana. AAA encourages parents to:
√ Talk with teens early and often about avoiding dangerous behavior behind the wheel, such as speeding, impairment and distracted driving. Serve a role model for safe behavior.
√ Teach by example, minimize risky behavior; conduct at least 50 hours of supervised practice driving with their teen.
√ Make a parent-teen driving agreement setting family rules for driving.
AAA recommends enrolling teens in a driver education program that teaches safety skills, distracted driving avoidance. AAA has in-person lessons and online tools for parents and teens, including TeenDriving.AAA.com and the StartSmart program.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.