'100 deadliest days' begin for teen drivers

Posted at 7:07 AM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 07:09:36-04

With the unofficial start to summer in full swing, Florida has officially entered what many call the "100 deadliest days" for teen drivers.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the number of crashes involving teens typically increases, according to AAA.

In Florida, an average of 42 people are killed each summer in teen driver-related crashes.

Throughout the past decade, 422 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes during this period, resulting in 463 deaths.

“School is out and summer is in, which means young inexperienced drivers will spend more time on the roads, increasing the chances that they’re involved in a crash," said Mark Jenkins spokesman for AAA - The Auto Club Group. “For every mile driven, new teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to adults. AAA urges parents to model safe driving behaviors and help ensure their teens practice them too.”

Last year, the auto group conducted a survey asking teens, 16-18, about their driving habits. Nearly half of them admitted to driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street.

To keep roads safe this summer, AAA encourages parents to:

Talk with teens early and often about abstaining from dangerous behavior behind the wheel, such as speeding, impairment and distracted driving.

Teach by example and minimize risky behavior when driving.

Establish a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.

Conduct at least 50 hours of supervised practice driving with their teen.

To support parents in conducting practice driving sessions during COVID-19 and beyond, AAA is providing a free four-page guide to help parents coach their teens on how to drive safely. The “Coaching Your New Driver – An In-Car Guide for Parents” offers behind-the-wheel lesson plans, including a variety of “DOs and DON’Ts” to make the learning experience as helpful as possible.