While Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start to summer, it has a darker side as the start of the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, new teen drivers are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly car crash from now through Labor Day.
It’s really not surprising since this is the time teens are out of school and driving more. What may be surprising is that more than 1,050 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver in 2016 during this time period. That is an average of 10 people per day — a 14 percent increase compared to the rest of the year,
According to the National Safety Council, teen drivers crash most often because they are inexperienced. It is difficult for them to judge gaps in traffic, find the right speed for conditions and make turns safely, among other challenges.
Nighttime driving can be especially challenging. According to the AAA foundation, in 2016:
- 36 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involving teen drivers occurred between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- "One in 10 of all motor vehicle nighttime crash fatalities involved a teen driver.
- Data show a 22-percent increase in the average number of nighttime crashes per day involving teen drivers during the 100 deadliest days compared to the rest of the year.