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Memorial Day kicks off the 100 deadliest days for teens to drive

Memorial Day weekend marks the start of period which American Automobile Association (AAA) calls the "100 deadliest days" of the summer. It's during this timeframe, when teenage drivers are out of school for the summer, that they are most involved in car crashes. In fact, teens are 16 percent more likely to be involved in fatal accidents during this period than any other time of the year.

There are a number of contributing factors that have resulted in an annual average of 1,022 people dying in car accidents with teens during this three-month period over the past five years. Driver distraction, which includes teens talking on their cellphones or sending texts, accounts for at least 58.5 percent of all crashes.

To arrive at this conclusion, footage from dashboard cameras was reviewed. Of the different accidents that were studied between 2007 and 2015, at least 2,229 of those were found to have involved distracted drivers. In each of these cases, those distractions resulted in moderate to severe collisions.

In another study by the University of Iowa, researchers analyzed what drivers had been doing in the six seconds prior to being involved in an accident. Of those cases studied, 15 percent of all cases involved a driver interacting with someone else in the car and 12 percent admitted to talking or texting on their cellphones. In at least 11 percent of the cases, the driver admitted to either reaching for something or otherwise being distracted by something else going on inside their car.

An additional study conducted by researchers at Virginia Tech found that texting leads to a crash risk at least 23 times higher than a situation where such a distraction is not at play.

Research at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that more and more teens are texting or using social media while driving. The researchers argue that this is alarming because it takes teens' eyes off the roadway in ways that making calls on cellphones never did.

Just as accidents involving distracted drivers carry the risk of moderate to severe accidents, injuries tend to be much more serious as well. If you've been hurt in a car crash as a result of another's negligence, then you may want to discuss your rights to file a claim with an Atlanta motor vehicle accident attorney.

Source: USA Today, "AAA: 100 'deadliest days' of summer: Teens on the road after Memorial Day," Bart Jansen, accessed June 02, 2017

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