AAA warns teenagers to be vigilant as the ‘100 deadliest days’ of the year begin this week

Drivers between 16 and 19 years old are most at-risk, the organization says

SAN ANTONIO – Summer vacation is here and drivers are expected to enjoy their time off by hitting the road.

According to AAA, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the most dangerous and deadliest for teenage drivers.

“The reason this happens is you have more young people out of school. They’re spending a lot more time with their friends,” AAA Texas spokesperson Doug Shupe said. “Oftentimes, some of them are unsupervised.”

The top reasons teens are getting into crashes during this time are due to speeding, not wearing a seat belt and driving distracted. In some cases, alcohol is involved.

Shupe said parents communicating with their teenagers about the real-life consequences of reckless driving can make an important impact.

Serving as a good driving role model can also go a long way, Shupe said.

“If they see us behind the wheel texting while driving and doing other dangerous activities, they’re going to think that’s OK to do,” Shupe said. “And we have to remember that our young people have been watching us drive for a very long time, and they notice what we’re doing behind the wheel.”

Something else parents can communicate to them are safe driving habits, which include:

    • No driving between midnight and 5 a.m.
    • Only one passenger under the age of 21 in the car at any given time
  • Always wear a seat belt
  • No distractions:
    • People in your car
    • Music
    • Texting/Talking while driving
  • Follow the speed limit
  • Practicing defensive driving
    • Not following too close to the car in front of you
    • Be aware of your surroundings
    • Slow down when needed (traffic/weather)

“This is something we want all teens to think about, that your bad choice is not a temporary thing. It could last the rest of your life,” Shupe said. “It could change someone else’s life.”

For more information on keeping your teenager safe on the roads this summer, click here.

About the Author

Halee Powers is a KSAT producer primarily focused on digital newscasts and events.

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