Groups Warn of Summer Risks for Teen Drivers

With a whole lot of extra time on their hands—and those hands behind the wheel for the first time—teens face a higher risk of car crashes during the summer months, according to AAA. One group is hoping to fight this trend with a new campaign.

Just because summer’s getting into overdrive doesn’t mean teens should follow suit.

In fact, auto industry groups warn that the summer months are particularly worrisome for first-time drivers, who are often quite new to the road. Earlier this month, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released research showing that teen drivers (ages 16 and 17) were three times as likely to get involved in a deadly crash as adults, and nine times as likely to be involved in a crash of any kind compared to adults.

And with teens freed from the responsibilities of school and potentially focused on summer jobs or having fun, the risks are ever-higher for drivers who might be unfamiliar with the nature of the road, notes Dr. David Yang, the executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

“Statistics show that teen crashes spike during the summer months because teens are out of school and on the road,” Yang said in a news release. “The Foundation’s research found that inexperience paired with greater exposure on the road could create a deadly combination for teen drivers.”

In fact, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has a nickname: The “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. Some of the major factors behind the risks for teen drivers include a failure to buckle up, a tendency toward distraction, and a high amount of speeding.

The state of affairs has led to at least one safety campaign. The National Foundation for Teen Safe Driving (NFTSD) last week launched its Summer Promise 2017, designed to educate both teens and their parents on the responsibilities that come with driving a vehicle. The content-driven campaign—which will include weekly discussions, expert articles, and a variety of tips—will also get sweetened with prizes to encourage teens to stick with it.

“We want teens to have a fun, safe, and enjoyable summer,” NFTSD Executive Director Roy Bavaro said in a news release. “We also realize that engaging teens in a meaningful discussion about safe driving can be challenging at any time. That’s why we’ve added a weekly prize giveaway drawing to have some fun and entice participation.”

Check out the full campaign at the NFTSD website.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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