EARLY YEARS: AAA says to be aware of teen drivers during these "100 Deadliest Days on the Road"
The "100 Deadliest Days" have begun.
That's the name AAA has given to the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, because of the nationwide spike in teenager-involved crashes.
Summer break means that teens driving more, and keeping later hours.It's not just teens and their parents who need to be wary.
According to AAA, nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel.
Distracted driving among teens is a much greater problem than previously thought, with passengers and cell phones being the most common forms of distraction.
"They definitely need to remove distractions. Having extra friends in the car, texting and driving, changing music, all of those things need to be eliminated while they're driving so they can actually focus on the road," says Beth Farmer with AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Farmer reminds teens of the typical driving hazards, like reading text messages while they're behind the wheel.
She also encourages parents to make their kids sign a driving contract.
"We expect them to set higher standards than even the laws of what is and is not acceptable, and then hold them accountable to those," says Farmer.
There are efforts to make teens safer behind the wheel.
The Liberty and Jefferson Forest High school YOVASO clubs were among the 17 award winners recognized during the annual Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) Awards Banquet June 20, at James Madison University.
William Byrd High School's Prevention Club was also honored, as well as a student and School Resource Officer from Bedford County.