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AAA Kansas Encouraging Teens to Stay Alert While Driving This Summer

AAA Kansas Encouraging Teens to Stay Alert While Driving This Summer

AAA Kansas Encouraging Teens to Stay Alert While Driving This Summer

AAA Kansas is cautioning residents that the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is a season of increased risk – especially for teen drivers – on the roadways.
More than 7,300 people died nationwide in crashes involving teen drivers from 2012 to 2021 during the 100 Deadliest Days, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. That’s nearly half of the number of those killed in teen-driver crashes for the entire remaining months out of the year.
In 2021 alone, 900 people were killed in teen-driver crashes, up from 851 the previous year ― a nearly 6% increase. The number killed in 2021 also represents a greater than 25% increase over pre-pandemic 2019. Often, the victims are passengers, pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles, making the roadways more dangerous for all.
In Kansas, 105 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers ages 15 to 18 during the Memorial Day to Labor Day stretch from 2012 to 2021, representing 34% of all vehicle crash fatalities during that 10-year period. According to Kansas Department of Transportation crash data, there were 11,507 vehicle crashes in all of 2021 (the latest data available) involving teen drivers ages 15 to 19, 40 of the crashes including fatalities and 2,878 crashes resulting in injuries.
AAA encourages teen drivers to double down on staying focused when driving, buckling up for every ride and driving within posted speed limits. Parents should also talk to their teens specifically about the dangers of impaired driving.
According to the AAA Foundation 2021 Traffic Safety Culture Index, teen drivers ages 16-18 admitted to having engaged in at least one of the following risky behaviors in the past 30 days:
  • Driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street (39%)
  • Driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway (34%)
  • Texting (28%)
  • Red-light running (27%)
  • Aggressive driving (25%)
  • Drowsy driving (16%)
  • Driving without a seatbelt (12%)
  • Drinking enough alcohol to be over the adult legal limit (4%)
  • Riding in a car driven by someone who has had too much alcohol (8%)
  • Driving within an hour of having used marijuana (6%)
To keep roads safer this summer, AAA encourages parents to:
  • Talk with teens early and often about abstaining from dangerous behavior behind the wheel, such as speeding, impairment and distracted driving.
  • Teach by example and eliminate their own risky behavior when driving.
  • Establish a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.
  • Conduct at least 60 hours of supervised practice driving with their teen, including 10 hours of night driving.
This time of year is the deadliest not just for teens, but for everyone on the roadways, including pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists. As summer arrives, AAA is reminding all road users, regardless of age, to be especially diligent about their safety as well as the safety of others.
According to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 11,395 deaths on U.S. roadways in June, July and August of last year. More than half of those killed were someone other than the driver, including nearly 1,600 pedestrians and almost 2,200 motorcyclists.

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