“100 Deadliest Days” Underway

It’s officially the deadliest time of the year for teenage drivers. AAA Kansas says the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day is when there are the most accidents involving teens. It’s also when teens are more susceptible to risky behavior, like speeding and distracted driving.

Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of summer and a dangerous time of year for young drivers. Nationwide, more than 30 percent of deaths involving teen drivers occur during what’s called the “100 Deadliest Days” – a period that runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens ages 16-19. For every mile driven, recently licensed teen are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to adults.

National Teen Driver Statistics:

  • An average of 2,108 teens are involved in deadly crashes, every year.
    • 660 (31%) of those occur during the 100 Deadliest Days.
  • These crashes result in an average of 2,341 deaths per year.
    • 732 (31%) of those fatalities occur during the 100 Deadliest Days.

As teens take to the road this summer, AAA recommends that parents model safe driving behaviors and help ensure their teens practice them too.

Distraction: Distraction plays a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes, four times as many as official estimates based on police reports. The top distractions for teens include talking to other passengers in the vehicle and interacting with a smartphone.

Not Buckling Up:  In research published in 2015, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in a crash were not wearing a safety belt. Teens who buckle up significantly reduce their risk of dying or being seriously injured in a crash. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the 22,215 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2019, 47% were not wearing seat belts.

Speeding: Speeding is a factor in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers. A previous AAA survey of driving instructors found that speeding is one of the top three mistakes teens make when learning to drive.