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Memorial Day weekend has come and gone and many graduation ceremonies for high school and college students are wrapping up throughout West Virginia. In the coming days, most school children will experience the joy that is the last day of school for the year and will begin what is, hopefully, a safe and enjoyable summer break.
Unfortunately, with school out, the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day has been coined the “100 deadliest days” of the summer driving season. Using the last five years as a guide, it is estimated that nearly 1,000 people will die in car crashes involving teenage drivers during this time period.
During the summer time between late May and early September, car wrecks for drivers aged 16 through 19 will increase dramatically, increasing the average number of deaths by 16% over different times of the year.
According to data from the American Automobile Association (AAA), an average of 1,022 people died during the 100 days after Memorial Day during each year over the last five years involving teen drivers. A major factor of many of these crashes, 58.5%, was distracted driving such as using a cell phone or texting. The rate of teenage drivers using a cell phone behind the wheel has quadrupled from 2007 to 2014 from 1 % to 4.8% according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Make sure your summer is enjoyable and safe. Minimize distracted driving by putting down the cell phone when you are behind the wheel.