HYANNIS – As school semesters end and more teens take to the road over summer break, AAA Northeast is offering safety guidance to keep teens safe during the summer months.
Data collected by the agency over the past decade shows a heightened risk of traffic related injury and death for teenagers during the period from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with over a third of traffic fatalities for that age group occurring during that three-month timeframe.
Researchers say the rise can be attributed to an increased number of teenagers on the road, as well as the inexperience of those driving.
“There are more daily deaths in crashes involving teen drivers during the summer months than the rest of the year because teens tend to have more unstructured time behind the wheel,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Northeast.
According to AAA, about 72% of teen drivers ages 16 to 18 have admitted engaging in risky behaviors over the last thirty days, such as speeding, texting while driving, driving without a seatbelt, and running a red light.
To keep teen drivers safe, AAA recommends that parents talk early and often about avoiding dangerous behavior while behind the wheel, to establish a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen driving, and to conduct at least 50 hours of supervised practice with their teen prior to their road test.
Most importantly, AAA reminds parents to continue teaching good driving skills even after licensure and to lead by example.
“We can require our young drivers to comply with passenger restriction laws, to eliminate distractions and stay focused when driving, to always wear a seatbelt, and to drive within posted limits. And it’s never too soon to educate teens on the dangers of the impairing effects of alcohol and marijuana,” said Maguire.
“But actions speak louder than words,” she said. “Remember to model good behavior as an adult driver because your teen won’t take your advice seriously if you don’t follow it yourself.”
By, Matthew Tomlinson, CapeCod.com NewsCenter