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Deadly days of summer for teen drivers

As families across Louisiana gear up for summer road trips, it is important to use caution on the road and to stay vigilant. As CNN reports, Memorial Day kicked off the "100 deadliest days" behind the wheel for teen drivers, which have seen more than 5,000 people killed in car crashes that involved teen drivers over this time period from 2010 to 2014.

In fact, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are 16 percent more likely to end up in a car crash in these 100 days than the other 265 days of the year. Experts believe there are several factors that contribute to this increase. First, summer vacation gives teens more time to be on the road since they are out of schools and may have fewer activities, which means more time for cruising as compared to purposeful driving to and from school. This also means their friends likely have more availability as well, which adds to risks on the road. Many states have restrictions on passengers for newly-licensed drivers because the distractions teen drivers face when their friends accompany them in the car can be great. With a passenger in the car, a teen driver is 44 percent more likely to have a deadly crash than if they are alone in the car.

Another major contributor, as USA Today reports, is the distraction for teens who use their phones while driving. In a study of the six second preceding a crash, researchers found that 12 percent of crashes included teen drivers using their phones in some way, whether talking, texting or using it in some other way. Young drivers are also using their phones while driving even more often than in the past. One study found a 1 percent usage while driving for drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 in 2007, and by 2014 the percentage had jumped to 4.8 percent. 

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