Federal Way police: Teens, take caution behind the wheel this summer

The Federal Way Police Department is encouraging parents to speak to their teens about the dangers they face as they put down the books and pick up the car keys.

New teen drivers ages 16 and 17 years old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This finding comes as the “100 Deadliest Days” begin, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when the average number of deadly teen driver crashes climbs 15 percent compared to the rest of the year. Over the past five years, more than 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving inexperienced teen drivers during this deadly period.

“As a community we share a responsibility for the safety of our young drivers. As the school year ends, we want to remind teen drivers to exercise caution, reduce distractions, and obey speed limits,” Police Chief Andy Hwang said.

Parents are encouraged to take the time to talk to their teens now about the importance of safety and the dangers of risky driving habits, including distracting driving and speeding.

Three factors that commonly result in deadly crashes for teen drivers are:

• Distraction: Distraction plays a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes. The top distractions for teens include talking to other passengers in the vehicle and interacting with a smart phone.

• Not buckling up: In 2015, the latest data available, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in a crash were not wearing a safety belt. Teens who buckle up significantly reduce their risk of dying or being seriously injured in a crash.

• Speeding: Speeding is a factor in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers.

Teendriving.aaa.com has a variety of tools to help prepare parents and teens for the dangerous summer driving season.

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