RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – With June 10th being the last day of school for a lot of Wake County students, experts want to stress the importance of safe driving this summer.
CBS 17 spoke with national and Triangle experts about why teens are more at risk of being in fatal crashes.
“We’re in the early stages of what’s, unfortunately, become known as ‘The 100 deadliest days for teens,” Davis Reich with National Road Safety Foundation said.
‘The 100 deadliest days’ is the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day, believed to be one of the most dangerous times for teen drivers.
“Last year, 1,755 people died on North Carolina roads and highways,” Reich said.
According to North Carolina Department of Transportation records, across the 100 deadliest days in 2020, there were more than 12,000 teen crashes and 30 teen deaths in the state.
Reich said that number went up 17 percent from the previous year and it is the highest North Carolina has seen since 2007.
With school being out and a lot of teens hitting the road, some for the first time, parents such as Britton Williamson said it can be a bit scary.
“Around town, I know it can get pretty crazy at certain times of the day,” Britton said. “So we would try to go out and drive during those times where it might be a little more rush hour.”
Additionally, Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said one of the main reasons for fatal crashes, especially when it comes to teens, involves speeding.
“It involves speeding, (but) it also involves alcohol…and now with our current times with phones and everything else it’s distracting,” Baker said. “If it’s not driven properly and you’re not paying attention, there is a probability that car can turn into a weapon.”
Nevertheless, new drivers such as Evan Williamson are made aware of the outcomes of driving in general.
“Road awareness, make sure other cars aren’t coming into your lane,” Evan said. “You might be in your lane but you don’t want someone else coming into your lane and hitting you. That’s my biggest fear.”
Both Baker and Reich said it all begins at home.
Sitting down and having a conversation with your children about the rules of the road is important.