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Summer is a dangerous time for teen drivers - and the rest of us

There is nothing like the first week or two of summer. The days are not stifling, the beach beckons, schools are out and a general sense of relief that winter is truly over settles in. The Delaware Valley takes a deep breath and basks in that sense of wellbeing.

Unfortunately, the feeling subsides quickly after you leave for the beach and get stuck in traffic for hours. Or as soon as the quiet is shattered by the party next door: The parents are out of town, and the teenagers have invited a handful of friends over to salute the warm evenings with a few cases of beer. Or, worse, as soon as you pass a terrible car accident on your way home from dinner one Friday night; you read in the paper the next day that two teens were killed in that accident when a drunk driver, coming home from a Phillies game, drove the wrong way on the freeway and slammed into their car.

If you remember that AAA refers to the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer, you will be surprised to hear that the driver at fault was not a teenager. In the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's most recent study of accidents involving teen drivers, the data showed that the teen driver is less likely to be injured or killed than anyone else involved in the crash.

Why the "deadliest days?" As the chief executive of the Foundation says, more teens are involved in motor vehicle accidents than any other age group. With more teens on the roads during the summer, the risk of crashes involving teen drivers increases. For example, during the summer of 2013, an average of 220 teens -- drivers and passengers -- were killed in traffic accidents each month. In those three months, the death toll was 43 percent higher than it was the rest of the year.

AAA provides tools for parents and guardians (found at to work with teen drivers on their driving skills. With more supervision and more time behind the wheel observed by more experienced drivers, teens have a better chance of making it to September alive and unharmed.

Source:, "AAA Foundation Study Raises Alert as 100 Deadliest Days Begins," May 27, 2015

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