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Is your teen in danger while driving this summer?

Many parents are unaware that industry insiders consider the approximate 100 days from Memorial Day to Labor Day as the "100 Deadliest Days" for teenage drivers.

It's during these months that the rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents involving teens increase to 15 percent higher than the other months in the year.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. a recent analysis of collisions for all drivers per mile driven indicate that inexperienced teen drivers 16 and 17 years old:

-- Have over twice the risk as adult drivers 18 and older of being involved in an accident where someone dies.

-- Are nearly four times as likely to get into accidents overall than those who are 18 or older.

-- Have over three times the rate of fatal collisions as adults age 30 to 59.

-- Have four-and-a-half as great an accident rate as those age 30 to 59.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) cited crash data from 2015 that showed there was a 10 percent increase from 2014 in the number of teenagers who were involved in fatal collisions.

What causes these enhanced risks?

There are three major factors that contribute to these grim statistics. They are:

-- Failing to wear a seat belt. As of 2015, statistics show that six out of 10 teenage drivers who died in auto accidents were not buckled in.

-- Distractions. Distracted driving factors into almost 60 percent of collisions involving teens. The worst distractions included cellphone usage behind the wheel and interacting with other vehicle passengers.

-- Driving too fast. The need for speed contributes to almost 30 percent of the fatal accidents with teenage drivers.

Parents can protect their teens

Don't feel as if you are helpless in this matter. Engaged parents who discuss safe driving and the pitfalls they may encounter while gaining experience behind the wheel have a significant influence on their teen's driving behaviors.

Remember, too, that even safe drivers can have accidents caused by other negligent drivers. If your teen is injured this summer in an auto accident, you may need to take some legal steps to see that he or she is compensated for any injuries or damages.

Source: azfamily.com, "Parents beware: Teens entering 100 deadliest days of summer," accessed June 16, 2017

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