We’re in the middle of the “100 Deadliest Days” on Idaho roadways — that’s the stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Officials say teen-related crashes are a part of that problem.
Each year over the past five years, an average of 700 people nationwide died in a teen-related crash. And AAA Idaho says the problem is getting worse.
Last year, more than 2,000 teen drivers in Idaho had a fatal or injury crash. Matthew Conde from AAA says that’s twice as many as they expected, when looking at population size.
“Distraction was a factor in 58% of teen crashes, four times as many as the federal estimate,” says Conde.
Distractions include acts like texting. In a AAA survey, more than half of teen drivers admitted they read texts or emails while driving in the last 30 days. And Conde says that’s only part of the problem.
“Half of teens reported speeding on a residential street in the past 30 days. Nearly 40% said they sped on the freeway. And one in six that were involved in fatal crashes during the summer also tested positive for alcohol,” says Conde.
Conde says the best way to reduce teen crashes is for parents to keep educating their kids about safety, even after they have their license.
“We need to not only set the example by not creating a double standard ourselves, but we need to be vigilant and be good teachers as well,” says Conde.
AAA has several online resources for parents to help their teenagers be better drivers.
Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio
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