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AAA warns teens and their parents that the deadliest time of year for teen car accidents has arrived.

Memorial Day began the 100 deadliest days on the highway for teen drivers. An average of 261 teens die each summer in traffic accidents – a 26 percent increase over the rest of the year.

“Parents are instrumental and play a significant role helping their teen be a safer driver.” Said John Pecchio, traffic safety consultant with AAA. “During the summer onths, teens are more care-free and excited to have the freedom to drive around. So it’s imperative parents help keep safety top of mind.”

Sadly, teens die on our highways during every part of the year, but the danger particularly prominent in the summer months.

The AAA reports that studies have shown that unsafe driving behavior, traffic violations and car accidents are lower among teen drivers whose parents set limits on their initial driving privileges.

Suggestions to parents for safer teen drivers include:

  • Restrict driving to essential trips. Teens drivers have three times as many fatal accidents as all other drivers, based on the number of miles driven. Teens are at the highest risk during their first year of solo driving.
  • Supervise practice driving. The most important way for teen drivers to obtain experience is through parent-supervised practice. Parents should continue to practice drive with their teens even after the teen has a driver’s license. This helps the teen driver manage more complex and difficult driving conditions.
  • Limit the number of teen passengers. Some states have laws restricting teen passengers in cars operated by another teen. Studies have shown that crash rates increase with each teen passenger in the vehicle. Fatal crashes for 16 to 19-year old drivers increase by five times when there are two or more teen passengers in the car. Parents should also restrict their teens from riding in a car with a teen driver.
  • Restrict driving at night. The rate of deadly crashes for teens doubles at night. More than half of night crashes occur between 9 p.m. and midnight. New teen drivers should not drive after 9:00 without a responsible adult.
  • Develop a parent-teen driving agreement. Written agreements help set forth clear rules about passengers, night time driving and driving privileges. AAA has a suggested parent-teen driving agreement on its teen driver safety website. TeenDrivingAAA.com.