Summer ushers in an increase in teen driving deaths. Here’s some tips to keep your teen safe

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day is when they say the most teenagers die in car accidents.

MACON, Ga. — This period in the summer is a dangerous season for teen drivers. 

In fact, it’s what AAA calls the “100 deadliest days for teenage drivers.” Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the U.S. sees the highest number of teens killed in car crashes

During those months in 2022, AAA said 707 teenagers were killed in these types of crashes – a 10% increase over pre-pandemic 2019.

“I’ve been a nervous wreck,” Macon mom Julie Floyd said. 

Floyd owns Macon Baking Company, and she can see cars speed by from her store’s windows. But Floyd also has a 16-year-old daughter, Haley Floyd, who’s learning how to drive right now. 

“I worry about her. I worry more about other people hitting her, and you know, her not knowing what to do,” Julie Floyd said. 

Her daughter goes to Georgia Driving School, and said she feels a different kind of emotion. 

“I’m in marching band, so like I have to stay late after school to do that and after games, so I’m excited to drive myself home,” Haley Floyd said. 

Before she got handed the car keys, her mom warned her about the dangers of driving. 

“I’m just kind-of nervous to get in a car wreck, obviously, cause I know it’s kind of a norm- not a normal thing, but it’s a thing that happens to a lot of people. But I’m still very scared of that,” Haley Floyd said. 

Her mom also shares that fear. 

“Teenagers don’t know what to do when things go wrong. And that’s the scary thing,” Julie Floyd said. 

To give herself some peace of mind, she’s laid down ground rules. 

“I know people, I’ve seen other people text while driving before. But if it’s my friend, I’ll be like ‘hey, stop doing that,'” Haley Floyd said. 

AAA said distraction plays a role in about 60% of teen crashes. That’s why they tell parents to model the right rules for their children, like putting their phones down while driving.

“I will correct her if she does it. And if someone calls her, and you know how cars have Bluetooth? If someone calls her, I’ll like hold up the phone so she doesn’t hold it,” Haley Floyd said. 

Her mom hopes other drivers show some grace to the newest ones on the road this summer. 

“Don’t get up on top of them, and you know, blow the horn and be rude. Just give them a chance. Everybody has to learn sometime,” Julie Floyd said. 

AAA said the single biggest distraction for teen drivers is other teens in the car. That’s why they recommend parents lay down rules about who their kid can and can’t drive with. 

They also said it’s important to teach kids to drive in all kinds of conditions, like rain, or high winds. 

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