AAA calls the period starting on Memorial Day the "100 Deadliest Days" because teen crash deaths historically climb. Crashes for teen drivers increase significantly during the summer months because teens drive more during this time of year.
Over 5,000 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers over the past five years, and a recent study found that nearly 60 percent of teen crashes involve distractions behind the wheel. AAA's research found that texting and social media use are on the rise for teen drivers.
The AAA Foundation in collaboration with researchers at the University of Iowa analyzed more than 2,200 videos captured from in-car dash cameras from 2007 - 2012 and found consistent trends in the top three distractions for teens when behind the wheel in the moments leading up to a crash:
- Talking or attending to other passengers in the vehicle: 15 percent of crashes
- Talking, texting or operating a cell phone: 12 percent of crashes
- Attending to or looking at something inside the vehicle: 11 percent of crashes
Another recent AAA Foundation survey showed that nearly 50 percent of teen drivers admitted they had read a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days.
AAA has set up a website, TeenDriving.AAA.com, to house a variety of tools to help prepare parents and teens for the summer driving season.