Every 47 seconds in Utah, a teenage driver is involved in a crash, say Utah Safety Council officials.
And a majority of the deadliest crashes occur during the summer.
The Utah Safety Council, along Utah Highway Patrol and AAA, are urging parents to increase their focus on safety this summer.
"Parents have a huge impact on their teenage drivers," said Jennifer Marsden, information specialist with the Utah Safety Council, a nonprofit organization.
Gov. Gary Herbert recently signed a proclamation supporting June as "National Safety Month."
As part of that proclamation, the second week of June has been designated as "Promoting Teen Driving Safety."
According to the Utah Department of Public Safety's 2009 crash facts report, when teenage drivers traveling 50 mph or more were involved in an accident, the accident had a 9 percent greater chance of being fatal.
Drivers of age 16 had the highest crash rate per licensed driver, according to the same report, which is the most recent available from the department.
Even though teenage drivers represent only 7 percent of licensed drivers in Utah, they are involved in 22 percent of all motor vehicle crashes, according to the report.
However, the number of crashes has decreased over the last 10 years.
The reasons for the lower number of crashes may include a recent law that changed the number of hours new drivers must have behind the wheel before getting their license, said Utah Highway Patrol Cpl. Todd Johnson.
Other reasons include laws that restrict nighttime driving, the number of passengers who can ride with a new driver, and mandatory seat belt laws.
But the laws do not negate the parent's responsibility to keep their teenagers and others safe on the road.
"Parents are the last word when it comes to the teen's driving," Johnson said. "Besides knowing where your kids are going and when they are coming back, parents need to know who they are with."
Although by law, beginner drivers cannot have any passengers in the car except for immediate family members, Johnson said, parents need to monitor that.
When a teenager is distracted by friends or siblings, that is when many crashes occur, he said.
Robert Parenti, president of the Utah Safety Council, said the reason fatal crashes increase during the summer months is because there is more daylight and better weather. People tend to drive at higher speeds when the conditions are good.
According to a news release issued by AAA, parents can keep teenage drivers safe by restricting driving and eliminating trips without a purpose. They can also continue to practice driving with a teenager after the teen receives a license, allow them to drive solo, and establish an agreement with clear rules.
The most common mistakes teenage drivers make include driving unbuckled, speeding, loading up the car with friends, talking on the cell phone, adjusting the radio or CD player and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Also, all drivers, no matter the age, should not use cell phones while behind the wheel, whether they have a hands-free model or not, Parenti said.
"There are still some parents out there who assume once a kid gets through their driver's education course, they can just hand them the keys and all is well," Parenti said. "But that's not so."
Utah Safety Council offers "Alive at 25," a driving improvement program for ages 15-24. It also offers an online program for parents on how to work with teenagers to create good driving habits. For more information or to sign up for a course, go to www.utahsafetycouncil.org.
For more tips and resources to help parents keep teenagers safe behind the wheel, visit www.aaa.com/teensdrive.