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Teens involved in more crashes in summer months

Published: Thursday, June 01, 2017 @ 3:33 PM

AAA Distracted Driving

New teenage drivers are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly accident, according to research from AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. 

These accidents increase for 16- and 17-year-olds as summer approaches and we enter what the foundation calls the "100 Deadliest Days" stretching from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 

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"Statistics show that teen crashes spike during the summer months because teens are out of school and on the road," said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director. "The Foundation's research found that inexperience paired with greater exposure on the road could create a deadly combination for teen drivers." 

According to the Traffic Safety's latest study, for every mile on the road, drivers ages 16-17 are 2.6 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a fatal crash, and 3.2 times as likely as drivers ages 30-59. 

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In 2016, approximately 8,300 injuries and fatalities occurred in Ohio teen driver crashes — a 15 percent increase from 2014. 

AAA encourages parents to play a vital role in keeping the roads safe this summer by having conversations with their teens early and often about speeding, distraction, and buckling up. 

Common distractions for teens include talking to other passengers and interacting with a smart phone. Distractions play a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes. 

In addition, in 2015, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in crashes were not wearing a safety belt. 

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, established in 1947 by AAA, strives to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries, according to AAA press release. 

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To combat crashes, the AAA is sponsoring an Ohio Graduated Driver Licensing coalition. 

The coalition modernizes Ohio's young driver licensing system by lengthening the Temporary Instruction Permit phase to 12 months and ensuring newly licensed teens are driving only with adult protection after 9 p.m. 

A young driver licensing system is proven to reduce teen driver crashes, and save the lives of teens and other road users, according to the foundation.