'100 DEADLIEST DAYS' | Summer means danger for teen drivers

'100 DEADLIEST DAYS' | Summer means danger for teen drivers

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - As we approach the summer break, there’s a warning for parents with teenage drivers.

A report from AAA says the start of summer ushers in the “100 Deadliest Days” for teenage drivers.

According to the report, the cellphone is the main reason why so many new teen drivers could die in crashes.

Stand at any corner in downtown Baltimore and chances are you will see it: drivers behind the wheel with cellphones, talking and texting.

“Pretty foolish, pretty dangerous; shouldn’t do it,” said Brett Butler, waiting at a stoplight on Gay Street.

Now, AAA research shows it's the start of the “100 Deadliest Days” for new teenage drivers, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

During this time, according to AAA, 16-year-old and 17-year-old drivers are three times more likely than adults to be involved in a fatal crash.

And fatal accidents involving teens jump 15 percent over the summer.

“It’s not surprising,” said Christine Delise, a spokesperson with AAA Mid-Atlantic. “They’re out of school, they have more free time on their hands. They’re driving around with their friends, they’re borrowing the parent’s car."

AAA has gathered example after example of teens’ close calls, including teenagers distracted by texting or each other.

The report says distraction plays a role in nearly 60 percent of teen crashes.

The top distractions for teens include talking to other passengers in the vehicle and interacting with a smart phone.

Experts say adding one passenger increases the risk of a crash by 50 percent. Add a second person, and the risk nearly doubles.

It’s a report packed with bleak numbers involving new teen drivers.

“Parents need to sit down with their teens and talk about the causes of crashes. Not wearing a seat belt, distraction, blasting the radio, talking with their friends in the car, all lead to crashes,” said Delise.

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