BALTIMORE (WJZ ) — In Maryland, it’s almost the end of the school year. That means it’s the deadliest time of year for teenage drivers. A new study finds the worst crashes for young drivers happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day, causing serious danger for others on the road.
Rick Ritter has a warning for parents.
The summer months consist of prom season, kids are out of school, there’s partying–and plenty of distractions. A new study by AAA shows teen drivers are a greater risk to others than themselves.
It’s called the “100 Deadliest Days…” when parents’ worst fears turn to reality.
“We are now heading into the deadliest time of the year for teen drivers,” said Christine DeLise, AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Car accidents remain the leading cause of death of teens in the U.S.
In 2013, close to 3,000 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver. Two-thirds of those dead were not the teen behind the wheel.
“For every teen driver that dies in a crash, two other individuals die in their vehicle and other vehicles,” said Peter Kissinger, AAA.
At Williams Educational Services, Tawanda Hughes zeroes in on the summer months when giving lessons.
“This is the summer time, the time where you want to show off and party,” she said.
Letting students know it’s not just their own lives they’re putting at risk.
“You always have to take stuff like that serious because you’re not just hurting that person, you’re hurting everyone they associate with,” said Vladimir Barnett, who’s learning how to drive.
In 2013, almost 200 teen drivers and passengers died in crashes during each of the summer months–almost a 50 percent increase compared to the rest of the year–stats Maryland knows all too well.
In 2012, a teen couple driving home from prom in Williamsport was killed. Police say the 17-year-old driver was speeding.
“They had a bet with the other couple that they’ll get to the house faster than them,” a friend of the victims said.
Scars some families never recover from.
“Losing a teen in you creates a hole in you that never heals,” said one father.
A bright spot in the report–the number of people injured in teen accidents has actually dropped by more than half, and the number of fatalities is down 56 percent since 1994.
Researchers are crediting laws that place limits on young drivers on being a big factor in that drop.
AAA’s study lasted nearly 20 years, analyzing police reported crashes involving young drivers.