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Triple-I Blog | The 100 deadliest days are here; Teenage drivers take care



Teenage drivers are on their way in full force today, whether they reunite with friends after tough months of social isolation or commute to summer jobs.

Summer has always been a dangerous time for young drivers. The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has been called the "1

00 Deadliest Days" due to the high rate of fatal accidents involving teenagers.

Over 7,000 people died in teenage-related summer accidents from 2010 to 2019 in the United States, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. There are more than seven people a day during these 100 deadliest days, compared to the rest of the year (six people a day).

The teens' lack of driving experience and immaturity lead to dangerous routines behind the wheel, such as speed, drinking, and tailgating. And when teenage passengers are present in the vehicle, the risk of teenage drivers getting into an accident increases even more.

When a teenage driver only has teenage passengers in his vehicle, the death toll increased for all people involved in a crash. 51 percent, according to AAA. But when older passengers (35 or older) travel with a teenage driver, the death toll in accidents decreased by eight percent.

A trend that has a positive impact on teenage accidents is that fewer of them drive today than a generation ago. Only about 61 percent of 18-year-olds in the United States had a driver's license in 2018, compared to 80.4 percent in 1983, according to an analysis from the Green Car Congress. The number of 16-year-old licensed drivers has also decreased significantly, from 46.2 percent in 1983 to 25.6 percent in 2018.

The reasons why fewer teenagers drive vary from the increased difficulty of obtaining a license to the ready availability of the ride -share apps, to the higher car costs.

The increased difficulty can be attributed in part to the proliferation of graduate driving license (GDL) legislation, which includes a three-phase program that enables teenage drivers to develop more mature driving attitudes and gain experience behind the wheel. These laws, passed by each state, have been successful in reducing teenage motor vehicle accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Despite the success of graded licensing programs and other positive trends, AAA strongly encourages parents and guardians. to model safe driving behavior and discuss dangerous behavior with teenagers, because even a death is one for many, and unfortunately the 100 deadliest days are not ready to retire.

Additional Resources:
Triple-I, Background on Teen Driver
Triple-I, Facts and Statistics – Teen Driver


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