ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – AAA is teaming up with the New York State Police to make young drivers aware of the dangers that summer driving can pose for new drivers.
The auto agency calls the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. Its statistics show that fatal crashes involving teens increase during that three-month period compared to the other nine months of the year.
Between 2010 and 2019, AAA says nearly 200 people died from car accidents that involved a teen driver during those three months, compared to 320 people that died in the non-summer months over the same 10-year period.
“Parents have plenty to be concerned about as their teen hits the road this summer,” said Elizabeth Carey, spokesperson for AAA Western and Central New York. “Teens are faced with more distractions than ever before, leading to deadly mistakes, and parents are the best line of defense to keep everyone safe behind the wheel.”
“Now is the time to separate that phone use from driving – mobile devices have no place behind the wheel,” he said.
Parents can emphasize other safe driving skills when they’re driving, such as coming to a complete stop at an intersection and looking over your shoulder during a lane change, said AAA’s driver training manager, Mike Formanowicz.
“Your teen, whether you know it or not, especially as they get close to that age 16, getting ready to take that permit test, your teen is watching you more than ever and how you’re driving behind the wheel,” Formanowicz said.
Formanowicz encouraged parents to talk with new teen drivers about how to avoid dangerous driving situations, like speeding, impaired driving, or distracted driving. He also encouraged parents to take a driver safety course.
He also stressed that parents should let teens drive and practice as much as they can, starting with basic driving situations, and adding more difficult driving scenarios as teen drivers get more comfortable behind the wheel.