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Arizona moving into most dangerous months for teen drivers

(Stephanie Zollshan/The Berkshire Eagle via AP)

PHOENIX — Teenage drivers in Arizona are moving into a stretch that is statistically the most dangerous for them on the road, Triple-A said.

The agency has started referring to the span between Memorial Day and Labor Day at the 100 Deadliest Days. Triple-A said, during that span, the chances of a teenage driver being involved in a fatal wreck increase 16 percent.

Between 2007 and 2014, more than 320 teenage drivers and passengers died on an Arizona roadway.

Michelle Donati with the agency said crashes are the deadliest obstacle a teenager will face.

“We know that, on an annual basis, motor vehicle crashes kill more teens than drugs, alcohol and suicide combined,” she said. “When it comes to driving, there’s a number of things that pose risks to teen drivers.”

While some may be quick to point to cell phones as the largest cause of crashes involving a teenage driver, Donati said there are other factors that can come into play.

“Distractions are one of the main reasons for teen crashes, but you also have to look at things like passengers,” she said. “Having just one passenger in a vehicle with a teen adds a 44 percent likelihood of crashing.”

The agency also said something simple — such as a teenager looking elsewhere in the car — can lead to a fatal crash.

KTAR’s Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.

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