100 Deadliest Days for teen drivers begins on Memorial Day
The summer months are when teens are involved in the most amount of fatal crashes
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Memorial Day through Labor Day marks the 100 deadliest days of driving for teens.
The summer months are when teens are involved in the most fatal crashes. Between 2010-2019, more than 7,000 people died in crashes involving teen drivers nationwide. AAA says that taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds more than doubles your risk of being in a crash.
Some of the biggest causes of teen crashes include not buckling up, distracted driving, alcohol and drug use and speeding.
“Most of the fatalities we work are a direct relation to not having your seatbelt on, and the phrase goes, ‘we don’t unbuckle dead people, so please put your seatbelt on,’” Profita said.
Parents play an important role in teaching teens driving safety. AAA offers a parent/teen agreement that helps parents understand their role in ensuring their teen stays safe on the roadway.
“It’s a really good time period to remind parents of how important it is to have that talk with your teen driver. Even if you haven’t had that talk recently, now is a good time to just sit them down and talk expectations on the roadway, why it’s so important for them to always be wearing that seatbelt, to avoid impairment, to avoid those distractions,” explained Morgan Dean, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
A Graduated Driver’s License can also help provide extra safety for teen drivers. Every state has different Graduated Driver’s License requirements or GDLs. The general principle is that GDLs put restrictions on young drivers while getting experience on the roadway.
According to the DMV, this program helps reduce the number of teen crashes. In Virginia, teen drivers can not drive between midnight and 4 a.m. unless they drive under special circumstances like an emergency or get to a job.
People under the age of 18 can only carry one passenger under 21 unless they have a licensed parent riding in the front passenger seat or after having their license for a year.
“It’s important that the teen driver, that young driver understands what the rules are and what the rules aren’t they’re set up specifically to give those drivers that experience,” Dean stated.
Chesterfield Police Department also said they’d seen a significant uptick in teen crashes in the area in recent years.
“As Chesterfield County and Richmond metro has been getting more population over the last five years, so we’ve seen an increase with that as well,” said Chesterfield Police Lieutenant Jim Profita.
The police department reports that most deaths stem from drivers not wearing their seatbelts.
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