This time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is being referred to as the 100 deadliest days of the year to be in a motor vehicle.
During the period, the average number of deadly teen driver crashes climbs 15-percent compared to the rest of the year. Rose White, spokeswoman for AAA-Iowa, says traffic picks up during the summer months and so do accidents involving new motorists.
White says, “Drivers ages 16 through 17-years-old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash.” In the past five years, 1,600 people were killed nationwide by inexperienced teen drivers. She notes the state figures are also alarming.
“Last year, 100% of the teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were not wearing their safety belts,” White says. “Teen drivers represent only 7.2% of all licensed drivers yet they’re involved in 21% of all reported crashes.” The four largest risk factors for fatal crashes involving teen drivers are: inexperience, distractions, speed and not wearing safety belts.
“We still see a very high number of teens not using their seat belts,” White says, “but we do know, proof has shown time and time again, it’s the best thing people can do to protect themselves from serious injuries and death.”
Traffic safety officials urge parents and other adult drivers to set an example for teens by using their seat belts and staying off their phones when in the vehicle with younger drivers.