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Teen drivers in midst of ‘100 Deadliest Days’ of summer

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PHOENIX — The days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are considered the most dangerous for teen drivers.

An average of 10 people are killed per day in crashes involving a teen driver during this period, a 14 percent increase compared to the rest of the year, according to Triple-A.

This time period has been called the “100 Deadliest Days.”

“It is a period of time where we encourage parents to get involved, stay involved to make their teens safer and to reduce the chance of them becoming a statistic on the roadway,” Michelle Donati, a spokeswoman for Triple-A Arizona, said.

More than 1,050 people were killed between the two holidays in 2016.

Among the factors that play into a crash, nighttime driving and speeding were the biggest.

“If you look at statistics based on the 2016 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, we found that thirty-six percent of all motor vehicle crashes involving teen drivers occurred between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m, one in 10 of all motor vehicle nighttime crash fatalities involved a teen driver and the data shows a 22 percent increase in the average number of nighttime crashes per day involving teen drivers during the ‘100 Deadliest Days’ compared to the rest of the year,” Donati said.

“And then when it comes to speeding, one in 10 of all motor vehicle crash-related fatalities involve a teen driver and almost one in three of all motor vehicle deaths involving a teen driver were speed related.”

Although nighttime driving and speeding are considered the biggest factors, they are not the only ones.

Distracted driving is another prevalent cause to teen-related crashes.

To try to combat that, Arizona enhanced its Graduated Driver License, or GDL, law.

“Effective July 1, Arizona teen drivers will be prohibited from using wireless communication devices, like cell phones, while operating a vehicle during the permit and first six months of the graduated driver license phase, except for in emergency situations,” Donati said.

“Triple-A is encouraging parents to establish this now as a family rule for their teen drivers, especially as the ‘100 Deadliest Days’ begin.”

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