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AAA: More Fatal Crashes Among Teens During After-School Hours

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Nearly as many teenagers die in car crashes during after-school hours as they do on weekend nights, according to a new report by



In analysis of crash data from the Federal Highway Administration, AAA found that nearly as many 16- and 17-year-old drivers were involved in fatal crashes between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday as were on Friday and Saturday nights between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Between 2002 and 2005, the totals for fatal crashes were 1,100 and 1,237, respectively, for the weekday and weekend periods.

AAA also noted that during these afternoon hours there is increased traffic on the roads, with commuters and adults making other trips, which makes driving more difficult for teen drivers and less forgiving when they make mistakes.

Currently, 44 states, including North Carolina, have graduated driver-licensing systems that limit night driving for new teen drivers, and 35 states limit the number of teen passengers for a new driver.

AAA says parents can play a key role in going beyond state laws by being just as diligent in monitoring their teens’ afternoon driving as they would be on a Friday or Saturday night.

AAA recommends that parents set clear driving rules, which include:

  • Prohibiting teen drivers from carrying any passengers during at least the first three months of driving and no more than one passenger for the first year.
  • Prohibiting teenagers from riding with a new teen driver.
  • Banning handheld and hands-free cell phones.
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