NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — AAA is encouraging parents to talk more to their teen drivers about the responsibility that comes with getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and a dangerous time of year for young drivers.
Nationwide, AAA reports more than 30% of deaths involving teen drivers occur during what’s called the “100 Deadliest Days,” a period that runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens ages 16-19.
In fact, reports reveal six teens are killed each day in crashes that are entirely preventable.
During the period labeled the “100 Deadliest Days,” an average of 18 Tennessee teen drivers are involved in fatal crashes.
Nationwide, a little over 2,000 teen drivers are involved in fatal crashes, according to AAA.
The organization encourages parents to conduct about 50 hours of supervised driving practice with them, enroll their teen driver into some sort of in-person driving course, and be on the lookout for risky driving habits.
If your teen has some of these habits, AAA said to explain to them the dangers they’re putting themselves in.
- Driving with passengers. Teen drivers’ crash risks multiply when they have teen passengers. Set limits and enforce them.
- Driving at night. Night driving is more dangerous due to limited visibility, fatigue, and impaired drivers on the road. This is especially a risky time for teens. Limit the time your novice driver spends behind the wheel at night.
- Not wearing a safety belt. Wearing a safety belt greatly reduces the risk of being hurt or killed in a crash. Make a rule: everyone buckles up for every trip.
- Speeding. Speed is a leading factor in crashes for teens and adults. Teens need to follow the posted speed limit, and parents should set a good example and strong rules.
- Distracted driving. Teen passengers are the biggest distraction to teen drivers, but cell phones come in second. Many teens admit to interacting with their phone and in-car infotainment systems while behind the wheel, despite clear dangers. Make a family rule covering these and other distractions by which everyone abides.
- Drowsy driving. Teens have a hard time getting enough sleep and often struggle with drowsiness. Drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, and teens have the highest risk. Ensure everyone who is behind the wheel has gotten enough sleep.
- Impaired driving. Driving impaired from alcohol and other drugs puts everyone at risk. Enforce strict zero-tolerance rules with your teen and be a good role model.