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AAA Mid-Atlantic seeks to stem summer crashes involving teens

Delaware Public Media

AAA Mid-Atlantic reminds parents with teens who drive that now is a good time to model safe driving behaviors and make sure their teens practice them too.

The reminder is because summer includes what AAA Mid-Atlantic calls the 100 Deadliest Days for teens, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

From 2010 to 2019 more than 7,000 people died in crashes involving teen drivers during this period.  That’s more than seven people a day each summer compared to six people per day the rest of the year.

This summer is especially concerning because with COVID-19 restrictions easing, more people are getting back on the road.

AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Ken Grant says there are many factors that cause more crashes involving teens during the summer months.

"Newly licensed teenagers, and lack of structure.  They're not necessarily in school at the time so [there's] a little more free time to go out and experiment with driving," said Grant. "And they haven't quite gotten the feel for exactly how important things like focus driving, seatbelts, not speeding, and avoiding distractions might be."

Grant adds parents can help keep their teens from developing bad habits.

"First, model safe driving behavior, second to reinforce it to their teens, third to spend more time in the vehicles with their teenagers just to observe, give them some extra tips to help them understand how important the rules of the road are," said Grant "AAA has a series of resources that are available on for parents to go over things with their teens."

Some issues parents should worry about according to a2019 Traffic Safety Culture Index study by the AAA Foundation found about 72% of teen drivers aged 16-18 admitted to having engaged in risky behaviors like driving 10 or 15 mph over the speed limit, texting while driving, aggressive driving, running red-lights, drowsy driving, and driving without a seatbelt.


Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.
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