How to Be Safe During the 100 Most Dangerous Days of Driving

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is often referred to as “The 100 Deadliest Days” because of the high number of traffic deaths among teenage drivers. On average, the number of fatal teen driver crashes climbs 15 percent compared to the rest of the year. Over the past five years, more than 1,600 people were killed during this deadly period in crashes involving teen drivers ages 16-17, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

What’s more, a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that drivers younger than 18 are almost four times as likely as other drivers to be in a crash, and nearly three times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash. That’s because teen crashes spike during the summer months because teens are out of school and on the road, according to Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director. He added that the Foundation’s research indicates that inexperience paired with more exposure on the road could create a deadly combination for young drivers.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are a few tips to remember when you get behind the wheel, followed by footage of teen drivers moments before crashing, illustrating the dangers of distracted driving.

– Use safe-driving skills, especially when your teen is with you. Lead by example.
– Before hitting the road, make sure everyone is buckled up.
– Always obey the speed limit and all traffic laws.
– Never drive impaired. If you’re going to drink alcohol, have a plan. Either appoint a designated driver or hire a taxi to get you home safely.
– Stay focused on driving. Avoid distractions, such as cell phones and daydreaming, and never text while driving.

A study and video analysis by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes. Researchers analyzed the six seconds leading up to a crash in nearly 1,700 videos of teen drivers from in-vehicle event recorders. Here, footage from some of those videos.

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