The 100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers

16 Jun 2016

During the “100 Deadliest Days” study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety over the past five years, there were over 5,000 auto accident deaths where a teen was driving.  The AAA is releasing a follow-up report that confirms that distractions are the cause of 60 percent of crashes involving teen drivers. This study also shows a trend where social media use and texting are continuing to climb among teen drivers.

During the summer months teenage driver crashes increases substantially since teens tend to get behind the wheel more during this season. Also, during the “100 Deadliest Days” over the past five years:

  • Each year around 1,022 people were killed in crashes where a teen was driving
  • There was a 16 percent daily increase in the number of crash-related deaths that involved teen drivers between the ages of 16 through 19 as opposed to other days during the year
  • Approximately 15 percent of auto accidents involved a teen attending or talking to another passenger
  • Around 12 percent of crashes were a result of texting, talking or using a cell phone
  • Around 11 percent of crashes were a result of looking at or attending to something that was inside the vehicle

Researchers gathered data in the study from teen drivers who were participating in a safe driving program. These teens agreed to have a camera placed on their windshield while they were driving. The cameras would record 12 seconds of video, audio and accelerometer data whenever acceleration, hard braking or a crash would occur. It would record 8 seconds before the accident and 4 seconds after it.

According to the study, the leading cause of teen driver crashes is indeed distraction. Over the course of the study, it was found that how teenagers used their cell phones while driving had an effect. For instance, in the moments leading up to the accident, it was found that teens were more likely to be looking down or texting on their cell phone rather than talking on it.

According to AAA, their top priority is keeping cell phones out of teens hands while they are driving. The overall goal is to gain a better understanding on how teens become distracted while behind the road so they can prevent deaths better. The Association’s advocacy is making an effort to protect teens by attempting to pass teen wireless bans and graduated driver licensing laws across the country.

To prepare for the “100 Deadliest Days”, parents are encouraged by AAA to educate their teens on how dangerous distracted driving is. GPS tracking for teens can also be used to help parents monitor their teen’s actions while driving and also give parents more peace of mind when their teens get behind the wheel.

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