With the Fourth of July in our rear view, we’re well into summer and the s0-called “100 Deadliest Days.” Those are the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the number of fatalities in traffic crashes involving teenage drivers typically goes up.

AAA recently revealed the top factors that lead to fatal summer crashes involving teenagers in California and across the United States:

  • Speeding, 28%
  • Drinking and driving, 17%
  • Distraction, 9%

In the most recent AAA Foundation survey, 49.7% of teen drivers said they had driven too fast on residential streets within the past 30 days, while almost 40% said they had exceeded the speed limit on the freeway.

Tests showed that one in six drivers involved in summertime fatal crashes had alcohol in their systems.

And in the same survey, 52% of teens said they had read a text message or email while behind the wheel in the previous 30 days. Another 40% said they had sent such a message.

Research from the AAA Foundation shows that nearly two out of every three people killed or injured in a crash involving a teen driver were not behind the wheel. In fact, between 2012 and 2017, during the 100 Deadliest Days:

  • On average, almost 700 people died in accidents with teens behind the wheel.
  • The number of deaths per day in crashes that involved drivers between ages 15 and 18 was 17% higher than on other days of the year.

Parents need to educate their teen drivers about the rules of the road and behavior behind the wheel. Too often, innocent victims are injured, or worse, when a teen is driving. Let’s keep the carefree days of summer just that.