Summer Marks Most Dangerous Time of Year for Teen Drivers

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — School is out and summer has started for teens across the nation. But that also means that the deadliest 100 days of the year have begun for young drivers.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, about 3,000 teens in the United States aged 15-19 were killed and more than 350,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes in 2009. In addition, nine of the 10 deadliest days for youth on the road were between the months of May and August.

In addition to the dangers of being an inexperienced driver, the dangers of alcohol and texting while driving are other factors that make the summer months so deadly to teens.

Missouri Highway Patrol troopers told ABC 17 News in Columbia that texting and driving may be more worrisome than other impaired driving because drivers are not even looking at the road.

“When you compound the young driver and the inexperience, plus someone who’s not looking at the road, it could create a pretty bad situation,” Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergent Kyle Green told ABC 17. “If there’s a vehicle in front of them that’s slowed down, they’re not gonna notice at all until they look back up, which might be too late.”

Missouri state law forbids anyone under the age of 21 from texting while driving. But according to a report from AT&T, texting is the number one way teens communicate.

“Whether you’re 16 or 80, everybody needs to pay more attention to what they’re doing,” Green told ABC 17. “Especially because the traffic out there has increased during the summertime.”

Click here for more on this story from ABC 17.

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