Memorial Day kicks off 100 deadliest days on the roadways

Fatal motor vehicle crashes continue to rise in Virginia and across the country with more...
Fatal motor vehicle crashes continue to rise in Virginia and across the country with more people set to hit the roadways for summer travel.(File)
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 11:28 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ/AAA Release) - Memorial Day is known to many as the “unofficial start of summer,” it’s also the beginning of the 100 deadliest days on the roadways.

AAA says the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is a season of increased risk on the roads.

From 2012 to 2021, over 7,300 people died nationwide in crashes involving teen drivers. Which accounts for nearly half of the number of people killed in teen-driver crashes for the entire remaining months of the year. In 2021, 900 people were killed in teen driver crashes, up from 851 the year prior.

“There are more daily deaths from crashes involving teen drivers during the summer months than the rest of the year because teens tend to have more unstructured time behind the wheel, as they commute to summer jobs, enjoy summertime activities and spend time with friends,” said Morgan Dean, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson. “Unfortunately, as more teens take to the road over the summer, the results can be deadly. AAA recommends that parents take time now to both model safe driving behaviors and help ensure their teens practice them as well.”

According to the AAA Foundation 2021 Traffic Safety Culture Index, teen drivers ages 16-18 admitted to having engaged in at least one of the following behaviors in the past 30 days:

· Driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street (39%)

· Driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway (34%)

· Texting (28%)

· Red-light running (27%)

· Aggressive driving (25%)

· Drowsy driving (16%)

· Driving without a seatbelt (12%)

· Drinking enough alcohol to be over the adult legal limit (4%)

· Riding in a car driven by someone who has had too much alcohol (8%)

· Driving within an hour of having used marijuana (6%)

AAA gave parents helpful steps they can take to keep the road safer:

  • Talk with teens early and often about abstaining from dangerous behavior behind the wheel, such as speeding, impairment, and distracted driving.
  • Teach by example and eliminate their own risky behavior when driving.
  • Establish a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.
  • Conduct at least 60 hours of supervised practice driving with their teen, including 10 hours of night driving.