JOPLIN, Mo. — Some of the youngest drivers are also among the most dangerous, at least during one particular time period, every year.
We are actually in the middle of the most dangerous time of the year for teen drivers.
According to AAA, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is referred to as the “100 deadliest days.”
Getting its name as a result of an average 21% jump in teen traffic fatalities during that time frame each year.
“Teen fatalities throughout the state of Missouri were up by 63% last year, which is very scary, so that’s 63% versus a 12% increase uh over all age groups throughout the state of Missouri,” says David Reich, of The National Road Safety Foundation.
So how can we reduce the odds of teens getting in accidents during this, and other, times of year?
Most area school districts no longer offer Driver’s Ed. Thankfully, the Alliance of Southwest Missouri now offers that service.
And parents can influence the way their kids drive without realizing it.
“It’s important to set a good example for our kids, you know they mirror us, so it’s important that we practice what we preach, you know if your telling your teen drivers to be safe and not to do things, it’s important that you set that example and not do those things as well, that will help breed good behavior for them,” says Captain William Davis, Joplin Police Department.
“Kids watch us, they watch what their parents and other adults do behind the wheel, so if their dad is texting or looking at his cell phone while he’s on the road, if he’s speeding, if he doesn’t buckle his seat belt, all those things, they think well if dad can do it then I guess that’s ok for me,” says Reich.
According to “Triple A,” distraction plays a role in the majority of teen’s deaths. Speeding is a factor in 30% of teen fatalities. And 60% of teens killed in wrecks in 2015, weren’t wearing seatbelts.