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AAA: 100 Deadliest Days on the roadways for teen drivers has started

Delaware Public Media

Memorial Day was the start of what is called the 100 Deadliest Days on the roadways for teen drivers.

The 100 Deadliest Days on the roadways for teens is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

According to AAA, there are more daily deaths from crashes involving teens during the summer as they drive to work, spend time with friends, and do summertime activities.

AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Jana Tidwell says in Delaware the ten-year period from 2012 to 2021 saw a lot of deaths involving teens in crashes.

"31 people were killed in crashes involving teenage drivers between the ages of 15 and 18 during these 100 Deadliest Days from 2012 through 2021, representing 40% of all vehicle crash fatalities during that period - those 100 days," said Tidwell.

Part of the problem according to the AAA Foundation 2021 Traffic Safety Culture index is that many drivers 16-to-18 years old admit to engaging in at least one risky behavior in the past 30 days.

"Driving 10 miles over the speed limit 39% of teens age 16 to 18 admitted to doing that. Driving 15 miles over the posted speed limit 34% of teens admitted to doing that. Texting while driving 28% of teen drivers admitted to doing that. Running red lights 27 percent," said Tidwell.

Tidwell adds 25% admitted to aggressive driving, and 16% admitted to drowsy driving which she notes can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Meanwhile, 12% admitted to driving without a seatbelt, 4% admitted to drinking enough alcohol be over the adult legal limit, 8% was riding in a car driven by someone who had too much alcohol, and 6% drove within an hour of having used marijuana.

Tidwell notes it’s not only important for parents to talk to their teens about safe driving behaviors, but to model those safe driving behaviors as well.

AAA tells parents they should consider having their teens complete a comprehensive driver education course to learn the rules of the road.

Parents can also establish an agreement setting family rules for teen drivers, and conduct at least 60 hours of supervised practice including 10 hours of night driving.

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.