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(Image courtesy of AAA)
(Image courtesy of AAA)

AAA: We are in the midst of the '100 Deadliest Days'


Mon, Jul 26th 2021 12:15 pm

AAA shares tips for safe summer driving

Guest Editorial

Amid the “100 Deadliest Days,” AAA Western and Central New York is urging drivers to use caution as July winds down. 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.

With summer in full swing, and less COVID-19 restrictions in place, many more people are on the roads. AAA is warning teen drivers to be extra diligent to avoid tragedies this season as they try to make the most of summer before school resumes.

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.

Moreover, 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.

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 should talk with their teen drivers about safety regularly,” 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.

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