Safety tips for teen drivers as the ‘100 deadliest days’ begin
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA – Memorial Day weekend marked the start of a dangerous time for young drivers nationwide.
More than 30 percent of deaths involving teen drivers occur during what’s called the “100 deadliest days,” which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).
“Teens are celebrating graduations, out of school in the summer time, potentially driving more, have more free time, which could lead to making a bad choice behind the wheel,” said Lt. Greg Bueno with the Florida Highway Patrol.
In Florida, an average of 36 teen drivers are involved in deadly crashes during the 100 deadliest days, according to AAA. During the past 10 summers, 400 people were killed in teen driver-related crashes.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for US teens ages 16-19, said AAA.
“Teens lack the experience, skills and maturity of a seasoned driver, which contribute to an increase in the chance that there will be a deadly outcome, not just for the teen driver, but also for any passenger as well as others on the road,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. “So we all have a vested interest in ensuring that teens are safe behind the wheel.”
Per miles driven, teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be killed in a crash, said AAA.
The top citation for teen drivers in Florida is unlawful speed, followed by careless driving, according to data as of Aug. 30, 2020 from FHP.
Excess speed is one of the main causes of teenage crashes, said FHP.
To stay safe while on the road as a teen driver, troopers suggest keeping passengers at a minimum. Extra passengers can be distracting for an inexperienced teen driver. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seat belt, have complete directions with you when driving to a new place, make sure your car has gas in it, never drive impaired, and maintain your car’s optimum performance.
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