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AAA flags June 10 as one of the deadliest days for teen drivers

Fri, 10 Jun 2011

AAA is flagging June 10 as one of the 10 deadliest days for teenagers to be on the road. Recent crash data show that six of these 10 days fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day--and five are in July.

The number of teens involved in deadly traffic crashes peaks during the summer-vacation months of June, July and August. The automobile association found that during each of these months, an average of 422 teens die in crashes, versus 363 teen deaths the rest of the year when school is in session.

Looking at crash data from 2005 to 2009, AAA marked the 10 deadliest days for teen drivers and passengers as:

-- Jan. 21

-- May 20

-- May 26

-- June 10

-- July 2

-- July 4

-- July 9

-- July 15

-- July 23

-- Nov. 11

AAA spokeswoman Christie Hyde explained that some of the days coincide with schools letting out for the summer, while others are not necessarily tied to a specific event--more accidents were simply clustered on those days.

"Some of these days may not necessarily correspond to something in particular, but when we look at the data, these are the days we found," Hyde said.

Several states have graduated-licensing programs that put limits on teen drivers in an effort to reduce the chance of crashes.

Regardless of license restrictions, the association says parents have a greater impact in preventing crashes.

"Parents must realize that there is no summer break from safety and be vigilant about remaining involved and enforcing rules with their teens," AAA vice president of public affairs Kathleen Marvaso said. "Life feels more carefree when school's out, and teens have more opportunities to drive or ride in cars late at night with other teens--a deadly mix."

AAA suggests these tips for parents to help keep teens safe:

-- Restrict driving and eliminate trips without purpose, especially during the first year of driving.

-- Become an effective driving coach with supervised practice sessions.

-- Limit the number of passengers allowed in the car. The likelihood of a crash increases with each additional passenger.

-- Restrict night driving. The chance of crashing doubles at night, especially between 9 p.m. and midnight.

-- Establish a written driving agreement with your teen to make the rules clear, and enforce it.

By Michelle Koueiter