AAA is warning drivers to be extra cautious on the roads this summer as teens off from school pack the roadways.

Spokesperson Don Redman says 3,500 drivers have died in wrecks with teens in a five-year period during the “100 Deadliest Days” between 2013 and 2017.

“When you have teens behind the wheel its not just that they are injuring themselves or being in fatal crashes by themselves, it’s cases where they are getting in crashes and killing other people as well.”

There’s a 17 percent increase in fatal teen crashes during this period relative to other times in the year.

The top three killers of teen drivers are speeding at 28 percent of all fatalities, drunk driving at 17 percent, and distraction at 9 percent. Redman says parents need to set a good example for all three, particularly distraction.

“If they are in the habit of driving with a phone in their hand then they need to learn discipline and put that phone up because the kids are watching.”

52 percent of teen drivers report that they operate their cellphone while behind the wheel.

Redman says there’s one hard and fast rule to keep your teen driver from killing themselves is not letting them chauffeur their friends. Redman says each additional teen passenger in a car driven by a teen doubles the chances of a wreck.

“I certainly would not allow more than one other teen passenger with a teen driver; it really becomes a high risk situation of a fatal crash.”

Two thirds of those injured or killed in wrecks involving teen drivers are not the teen drivers themselves.

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