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Drivers beware! Teenagers hit the road en masse.

School's out for summer! We can all recall the joy of hearing that last bell at the end of the last day of the school year. We rush out of the classroom, empty our lockers and hit the roads to enjoy the dog days of summer.

Unfortunately for everyone else on the roads, this also signals the beginning of a spike in car crashes involving teens.

Is summer really more dangerous for teen drivers?

The short answer is yes, summertime really is more dangerous for teen drivers. According to a recent study by AAA, that final bell indicates more than just the start of summer. It is also a signal that we are beginning the 100 Deadliest Days for driving.

Some statistics that support this statement include:

  • During this period, there is an average of 1,022 fatalities.
  • That translates to more than 10 deaths every day.
  • During the 100 Deadliest Days, the risk of a teen being involved in a fatal accident is 16 percent higher than the rest of the year.

Although these statistics are sobering, it appears alcohol is not the primary concern. Alcohol use continues to be an avoidable cause of teen accidents, but for this generation a larger concern involves smartphone use.

Smartphone use while driving is on the rise. According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the use of cellphones while driving amongst teens quadrupled between the years of 2007 and 2014.

What can we do to keep our roads safe?

There are some proactive steps that can be taken. First, parents can discuss cellphone use and other distracted driving practices with their children. Setting clear expectations that are followed up with prompt consequences when necessary can have a big impact towards reducing the risk of distracted driving.

It also helps to provide a good example. Do not use your phone while you drive.

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