AAA warns of ’100 Deadliest Days’ for teen drivers

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 5:45 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - AAA says the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day usually see an increase in crashes involving teen drivers.

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, meaning more teens are out of school and perhaps moving on to summer jobs.

They’ve dubbed that period the “100 Deadliest Days.”

“They just haven’t encountered as many things as on the roadways as adult drivers have and just aren’t to the point where they can deal with different things,” said AAA Spokesperson Morgan Dean.

The association has compiled data from the 100-day period from 2010 to 2019: Nationwide, more than 7,000 people died in teen-related crashes. In Virginia, more than half of the crashes were speed-related.

“More than 140 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers in Virginia; more than 125 teens were involved in fatal crashes,” Dean said.

But when you think of teens, you may think they’ll be distracted with their phones, but AAA says there are so many other factors that could turn into distractions such as the radio, on-board electronics, passengers, pets, eating or drinking.

And in order to really enforce the good habits, mom and dad might have to set the example.

“They need to model all that good behavior that they’re talking to that teenager about. They need to put down their cell phones, avoid other distractions in the car, put that seatbelt on every single time. They need to obey the speed limits, and talk to their teen about why they’re doing all these things, and know that it’s not just the teen - every driver on the road needs to follow these,” Dean added.

AAA says 2020 saw a 60% drop in crashes involving teens, but that fatalities from those crashes only drop by 20% compared to 2019.

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