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AAA: 15 Percent Spike In Deadly Teen Crashes During Summer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We’re entering a danger zone with the summer season when there are more deadly accidents involving teen drivers.

Doctors say teens are more likely to drive distracted, putting themselves and the drivers around them at risk. Deadly crashes involving teenagers are up 10 percent.

Dashcam videos can show what happens when teens drive distracted. One video shows a teen looking at her phone for six seconds before going off the road.

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Laura Carney knows the dangers all too well.

Her father was killed by a teen driver who witnesses say was using a cellphone.

“He was someone who really embraced life,” said Carney. “That’s why when he was gone, it was such a huge loss.”

One study showed that 21 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cellphones.

“We typically see a 15 percent spike in deadly teen crashes during the summer months,” said Jennifer Ryan, AAA director of state relations.

A new report from AAA shows 16- and 17-year-old drivers are three times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly crash.

“They are more likely to take risks behind the wheel, including speeding, driving distracted and not wearing their seatbelts,” said Ryan.

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Eleven teens die every day as a result of texting while driving.

According to a AAA poll, 94 percent of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35 percent admitted to doing it anyway.

“What really is going to give me peace is when I see the numbers go down, when I found out that this thing that killed my father isn’t getting worse anymore,” said Carney.

Experts say that texting is the most alarming distraction, considering that sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

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