Traffic safety encouraged as teen drivers enter '100 deadliest days of summer'

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Tuesday, June 4, 2024
Traffic safety urged as teen drivers enter 'deadliest days of summer'
It's the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year when teen automobile fatalities on roadways rise.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year that is dubbed the "100 deadliest days of summer."

That's because of the number of teen automobile fatalities on roadways, blamed in large part on the influx of teenage drivers on the road with school being out of session.

"There's more teen drivers out and about. Just because they're not in school," said Lt. Mike Fleer with the Wake County Sheriff's Office. "They're going back and forth to visit friends."

During the "100 deadliest days" in 2023, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said they responded to 38 teen traffic fatalities across the state.

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"That number can only go up if you include all the other municipalities that respond to collisions in their jurisdiction," said North Carolina State Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Christopher Knox. "Parents need to talk about what could happen if you're charged and the impact it has on your schooling and your future. But bigger picture, on the lives of other people."

Teens involved in crashes could also face varying degrees of legal charges, especially in wrecks where people die.

"To go to the home of a parent of a teen of a fatal crash, that's really the worst of scenarios we can face because we know they're preventable," said Knox. "It really touches our members to go to a scene and see a young life. You can't help but think where they were going in their future."

Law enforcement officials urge parents to have conversations with their children about the dangers of distracted driving, whether it be phone usage, vaping, other friends in the car, or other factors such as alcohol use.

"A conversation that a parent could have had with their child that they didn't. Or the child didn't take to heart that they really wish they could have. But the time is too late," Fleer said.