Teen driving fatalities increase between Memorial, Labor Day

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According to AAA, the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers has begun. 

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, fatal crashes involving teens tend to spike. Over the last five years, an average of seven people died per day, during those 100-day periods, in crashes involving teens.

AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins attributes the phenomenon to teens being out of school and, therefore, spending more time on the road. 

Jenkins said factors typically contributing to these fatal crashes include speeding, drinking and driving, and distracted driving. To cut down on that last one, Florida recently upped its texting and driving ban, making it a primary offense.

Jenkins said the next best thing is for parents to engage their teen driver about the dangers of distracted driving.

”Just be involved with your teen driver. That extends beyond just being behind the wheel with them.  When they are driving alone, have rules in place have a teen-parent agreement that has penalties if they break the rules, and also just lead by example,” Jenkins said. 

Michele Dinkle is a parent of a teen driver. She follows that advice.

“Every day, just remind them: Don’t text and drive. I know your friends are doing stupid stuff. Three seconds to running a red light isn't worth three days in the hospital,” she said.

For information and resources to prevent distracted driving, for parents and teens, visit https://teendriving.aaa.com/FL/.