Each year, Tennessee and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety address the summer rise in teen driving accidents and fatalities with the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer Campaign. According to data from AAA, more than 1,000 deaths in collisions involving teens occur from Memorial Day to Labor Day every year.
Learn more about this teen driver safety campaign to help protect young people getting behind the wheel.
Know the risks
Crashes are more common among teen drivers than in any other age group, and teens are more likely to die from a motor vehicle accident than any other cause. AAA found that approximately 260 teen auto accident fatalities occur in June, July and August, representing an increase of 26% over monthly averages for the rest of the year.
Speed was a factor in 29% of fatal accidents among teen drivers during the study period. In addition, many such crashes occur after dark, so set house rules to limit driving after 9 p.m. and before 6 a.m.
Stress the danger of distractions
Driver distraction contributed to about 60% of fatal crashes involving teen motorists. AAA analyzed thousands of collision videos with researchers from the University of Iowa. They determined the most common distractions in this type of accident:
- 15%: Talking to passengers
- 12%: Using a smartphone or electronic device
- 11%: Attending to something else in the car (eating a meal, for example)
Set a good example for new drivers by putting the phone away when behind the wheel. Make sure teens understand the Tennessee penalties for smartphone tickets and establish expectations for safe driving.
Remind teens about passenger provisions
Tennessee introduced a graduated driver’s license program to protect teens and other motorists. Because passengers represent such a significant distraction, state law limits drivers with an intermediate restricted license to just one passenger unless accompanied by an adult who is at least age 21. Drivers can earn an intermediate unrestricted license after earning a GED, graduating high school or turning 18.