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What do teen drivers need to know about the '100 deadliest days?'

This is perhaps the best time of the year for teens across Rhode Island, as school is finally out for the summer, meaning they are free to spend more time working, and whiling away the hours with friends and family.

While it's true that teens deserve a respite from the rigors of school, it's important for them to be aware that they are entering an especially dangerous time of the year. Indeed, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has even dubbed the timeframe from Memorial Day through Labor Day as the "100 Deadliest Days."

Why exactly has this timeframe earned such a foreboding moniker?

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Memorial Day through Labor Day is the single deadliest time of the year for teen motorists with the number of fatalities rising to an average of 10 per day. To put this in perspective, this is 16 percent higher than the remainder of the year.

Why is summer so deadly for teen drivers?

Teens are at an elevated risk of being involved in fatal collisions over the summer months owing to the simple fact that they are no longer confined by school-related schedules. In other words, there are simply more of them out on the roads and highways at all hours on any given day.

What are the biggest risk factors for teen drivers?

Interestingly enough, a recent study conducted by AAA in conjunction with researchers at the University of Iowa examined over 2,200 medium-to-severe crashes involving teens from 2008 onward captured on film by dashboard cameras.

Here, they determined that while the majority of these motor vehicle accidents could be attributed to distracted driving, cell phone use wasn't the primary offender. Indeed, distracted driving attributable to talking and texting came in second, (causing 12 percent of crashes), trailing distracted driving attributable to passengers (causing 15 percent of crashes).

Why is having passengers in the car so dangerous?

The study authors concluded that teen drivers, who are already inexperienced and prone to engaging in risky conduct on their own, are even more so when they have others present in the car, something that can perhaps be attributed to peer pressure.

Here's hoping that the word gets out and that we finally start to see a reversal in this truly discouraging trend.  

If you or a family member have been seriously injured in a car accident attributable to the negligence of another driver, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your options for seeking justice.

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