GREENSBORO, NC – It’s called the 100 deadliest days; the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the average number of fatal car crashes involving teenagers increase.
“During the summer months, when it’s supposed to be a fun time, it can often lead to tragedy,” said Master Trooper Chris Knox with North Carolina’s Highway Patrol.
QUESTION: Do more teens die during these 100 days because of car wrecks?
PROCESS: To verify, we pulled numbers from AAA, the American Automobile Association which tracks teen crash rates.
A report shows fatal teen crashes climb 15 percent during the 100 days between the two summer holidays. Over the past five years, 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving inexperienced teen drivers.
“You’re talking teenagers. Typically, they are in school all day and then suddenly, they have all day to be behind the wheel,” said Knox.
The trooper added North Carolina ranks as one of the worst states for teen driving fatalities. So far, in 2017, 68 teens died in car crashes, and its only June.
“A lot of the time with teen drivers, it’s a combinations of issues,” Knox explained.
The top three reasons for deadly teen crashes include distraction, speeding and seatbelts.
AAA reports six out of ten crashes are caused by distraction.
Knox added, “When we think about distraction, I think everybody goes to technology and cell phones and that is an issue, but we find many times it’s related to passengers. In the summer, they are likely to have more friends in the car with them.”
The lack of a seatbelt resulted in 60 percent of teen driving fatalities in 2015, while speeding resulted in 30 percent of fatal teen crashes.
“The more speed that is factored into the crash, the more devastating the results,” said Knox.
So, we can verify, these 100 days can prove deadly for teen drivers- unless they put the phone down, slow down and buckle up.
North Carolina State Highway Patrol
Master Trooper Chris Knox