As the United States moves into the “100 deadliest days for teens” behind the wheel, the AAA Foundation has released new statistics showing that Texas leads the nation in traffic deaths caused by teen drivers.
According to KIII-TV, the AAA Foundation is urging teenagers and their guardians to remember the huge responsibility that comes with the freedom of driving, especially during the summer months. In particular, AAA is focused on time period stretching from Memorial Day to Labor Day which it calls “the 100 deadliest days for teens.”
In a recent study, AAA equipped cameras in the cars of teen drivers to study their behaviors and the consequences that can follow. The cameras recorded a number of collisions and cars losing control as the teen drivers operating the vehicles became distracted by their phones, radios, makeup, and friends.
“It really demonstrates how fast things can change behind the wheel for those teen drivers, especially for a young driver who doesn’t have a lot of experience,” said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster.
The most common distraction for teen drivers studied by AAA may come as a surprise.
“When it comes to younger drivers we also see the passengers are the leading cause of distractions or the top distractions we see in many fatal accidents or crashes,” said Armbruster.
When it came to fatal accidents, AAA also noted that teens were not buckling up as often as they should (which is always) and that speeding was a common factor as well.
Armbruster urged parents to lead by example rather than instruction alone and reminded parents they are setting the example earlier than they may thing.
“Because even if your child is many years away from starting to driver, they are already picking up on your habits,” said Armbruster.
According to the KIII-TV, seven people are killed every day in crashes with a teen driver. Distraction played a role in nearly 60% of all teen crashes.
From 2010 to 2019, Texas led the nation in traffic deaths involving teen drivers with 2,318 recorded. California ranked second with 1,631 deaths, and Florida followed with 1,584 deaths.
Leading distractions among teen drivers were:
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