BUFFALO, N.Y. — While Memorial Day to Labor Day is thought of as the unofficial start and end to summer, it's also the deadliest 100 days on the roads for teen drivers. With COVID-19 restrictions lifting and teenagers having more freedom, AAA is putting out the warning signal to drivers of all ages.
Things like distracted and impaired driving are always a concern. But there also haven't been many driver's education programs during the pandemic, so teen drivers may be less experienced heading into this summer. Plus, there's more traffic than there was last year.
AAA'S Driver Training Manager Mike Formanowicz says this all of this is a good reminder for drivers of all ages to remember the risks every time they get in the car.
"There's a lot more people on the road, so really even if your teen has their license already, it's not a bad idea to still do some supervised driving. Just because the level of traffic is going to be so much greater today than it was just one year ago," he told 2 On Your Side. "Continuing education after getting a license is a great idea."
"These kids have been kind of cooped up in their rooms. This summer is going to be different than other summers," said AAA of Western and Central New York's Director of Public Relations and Corporate Communications, Elizabeth Carey added. "Things are just starting to open back up, but they've just been through the pandemic in 2020, so it could be a more dangerous summer. We don't know, but AAA wants to make sure that everyone stays as safe as possible on the roads."
Parents of teen drivers are encouraged to be role models behind the wheel, and discuss the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. AAA also recommends at least fifty hours of supervised practice driving for teens, and making a safe driving agreement as a family. More resources are available at www.teendriving.aaa.com.