Fatal teen wrecks jump 26 percent during '100 deadliest days' of summer; AAA campaigns to save lives

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio - With schools out for summer more and more teens can be found out on the road, many going to summer jobs, other essentially going nowhere very often with friends.

"They do what we call non-purposeful driving. They're not driving to a specific location, they're driving to be driving quite a bit of the time," said AAA Safety Advisor Lori Cook.

Cook spoke of the dangers surrounding teens and summer driving as AAA looks to raise awareness to the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day. These are the deadliest days for teen drivers.

During these summer months, AAA reports there's a 26 percent increase in fatal teen crashes. They advise protecting your teen by setting and enforcing rules before they hit the open road.

“Before your teen jumps behind the wheel, remind them of the importance of driving alcohol and distraction free. No texting. No drinking. No excuses,” AAA tells parents.

Over the course of five years, nearly 4,000 teen drivers and passengers (between 13 and 19 years old) died in traffic crashes between Memorial Day and Labor Day, making this period the deadliest season for teens.

"Usually before a crash there is some sort of distraction," said Cook. “Driving is your primary job when you're in a car your first job is to drive and everything else is secondary to that."

AAA recommends:

RULE 1: CHECK IN WITH A PARENT EVERY TIME YOU DRIVE.

✔Tell parent where you are going, who will be the passengers, and when you will return.

✔ Call home if you will be more than ______ minutes late.

✔ Call home if your plans change while you are out.

✔ Call home if you cannot get home safely. Parent will arrange a safe ride home.

RULE 2: OBEY ALL TRAFFIC LAWS AND SIGNS.

✔ Never use alcohol or other drugs and drive.

✔ Never ride with a person who is driving after using alcohol or other drugs.

✔ Never ride in a car where any alcohol or drug use is occurring.

✔ Always wear your seat belt at all times as a driver or passenger.

✔ Always have every passenger wear a seat belt.

✔ Do not drive aggressively (e.g., speeding, tailgating, or cutting others off).

RULE 3: DO NOT TAKE UNNECESSARY RISKS WHILE DRIVING.

✔ No playing around with passengers, messing around with the radio, talking on a cell phone, etc.

✔ Do not drive when overly tired, angry, or upset.

✔ Do not put yourself or others at increased risk by making unnecessary trips in adverse weather.

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