It’s ‘100 deadliest days’ for teen drivers: Here’s what parents need to know…

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Less than two weeks into the '100 Deadliest Days,' and Northeast Ohio has already seen multiple fatal crashes involving teen drivers.

Most recently, Strongsville student Kailee Mayher, 16, died Wednesday night when the car she was in went off the road and hit a tree. There were a total of six teens in the car; three of the girls were hurt and taken to the hospital. The driver was 16.

On Tuesday, two teens from Chardon were involved in a crash after troopers said they went through a stop sign and were hit by a commercial truck.

Passenger Dominic Ricci, 18, died just after the crash. Driver Jackson Condon, 17, passed away Wednesday.

Just prior to the start of '100 Deadliest Days' on May 21, a 17-year-old Midview High School student was killed and another was seriously hurt in a crash after prom. Drug use was suspected as a factor in that crash.

AAA says the '100 Deadliest Days' is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when the average number of deadly teen driver crashes climb 15 percent compared to the rest of the year.

The Statistics
According to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, new teen drivers ages 16 to 17 are three times likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash during this time period. The research shows that inexperience paired with greater exposure on the road help create the deadly combination.

Statistics show that for every mile on the road, drivers 16-17 years old are:

-- 9 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a crash
-- 6 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a fatal crash
-- 5 times as likely as drivers 30-59 to be involved in a crash
-- 2 times as likely as drivers 30-59 to be involved in a fatal crash

Biggest factors in Deadly Teen Crashes
AAA says there are three factors that commonly result in deadly crashes for teens.

Distraction plays a role in six out of 10 crashes. The top distractions are talking to other passengers in the car and being on a smart phone.

Teens also aren't buckling up. In 2015, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in a crash weren't wearing a seatbelt.

Lastly, speed is a factor in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teens.

How parents can keep their teen drivers safe
AAA says parents can help reduce the number of deadly crashes just by getting more involved with their teens and talking to them about risky behaviors.

“Parents are the front line of defense for keeping our roads safer this summer,” said Jennifer Ryan, AAA Director of State Relations. “It all starts with educating teens about safety on the road and modeling good behavior, like staying off the phone and buckling your safety belt.”

AAA suggests the following tips to help:
-- Have conversations with teens early and often about distraction and speeding
-- Teach by example and minimize risky behavior when driving
-- Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen driving

**Click here for a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement from AAA**

For more tips and stats about teen driving from AAA, click here. 

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