CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - As school lets out for the summer and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, AAA is warning teenagers to be extra cautious on the roads.
The “100 deadliest days” have arrived, which spans between Memorial day and Labor day. During this time span, we often see more deaths involving teenage drivers.
“This year, things are getting closer to normal,” AAA Spokesperson Morgan Dean said. “But as that happens, teenagers haven’t driven as much in the past year and now have more free time on their hands.”
Dean and the AAA are trying to get the word out about the 100 deadliest days. In the last 10 years, more than 140 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers during this time period.
This year, he is worried about teens who are getting on the road for the first time post-pandemic.
“Looking at last year in 2020, fewer cars were on the road, fewer miles driven by drivers, crashes involving teen drivers were down 60% during the 100 deadliest days of the summer,” Dean said. “But fatalities in those crashes only decreased by 21%.”
Dean says this data tells us that many teens engaged in risky behavior while on the roadways.
“The cell phone is not the only distraction out there, we say ‘hands free is not distraction free’ because you have the radio, you have onboard electronics with GPS, you have passengers, you have pets in the car, food and drinks inside the vehicle,” Dean said. “All of those things can be distracting.”
AAA says it is always important to have a safe driving talk with your children, but it is even more crucial to lead by example while in the car with them.