Whether it’s day or night, sunny or pouring rain, free of traffic or heavily congested, maneuvering the road as a driver requires attention, experience and just a bit of luck. And while the risks that come with driving will always exist, they are somehow magnified when it’s summer — especially for teen drivers.
Over the past five years, according to AAA, nearly 3,500 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the period that has become known as the “100 Deadliest Days,” when the number of crash fatalities involving a teen driver historically rise. In particular, the average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers ages 15-18 was 17% higher per day compared to other days of the year.
This is concerning for teen drivers, parents, other motorists and insurers alike. A mistake behind the wheel could be the difference reaching a destination safely and getting into an accident, or, more tragic than that, life and death.
Related: 10 best states for teen drivers
To stay safe this summer and beyond, it’s important for teens and their parents to understand what is putting them at risk. Not only can it be distractions from their phone or friends, but inexperience driving under certain weather conditions or driving in an unfamiliar area can leave a teen driver in a precarious situation.
“Crash data shows teens are a vulnerable driver group with a higher probability of being involving in crashes,” Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said in a press release. “And while teens may make mistakes when first learning to drive, it is important to continue educating them about safety behind the wheel so they avoid the reckless behaviors that put themselves and others at risk on the road.”
With this in mind, here are the 9 risks that AAA has identified as the biggest threats to teen drivers.