Deadliest days of driving for teens
More than 1,000 people are killed in crashes involving a teen driver. This time of year, known as the 100 Deadly Days of Summer, is when the crashes go up for youth.
Mike Johnson, owner of Wichita Driving School says between Memorial Day and Labor Day is when motorists are more likely to be injured or killed in crashes involving a teen.
“We're in the midst of it right now and July's probably the most dangerous month for teens, he said.
During a class in his private driving school, he emphasized the importance of avoiding distractions on the road, like using cell phones.
THREE IN FIVE CRASHES ARE DUE TO DISTRACTIONS
Research shows that three in five teen crashes are a result of distracted driving.
Safe Kids Wichita coordinator and Via Christi nurse Rhonda Lusk meets up with youth throughout the year. One thing she takes to some events is a driving simulator, which shows kids what it’s like to drive impaired, while using a cell phone and other risks on the road.
“Kids after they've heard this presentation, they tend to buckle up and keep everyone else in the car buckling up,” Lusk said. “We tell them that they're in charge of the vehicle. If you're a driver and your passengers don't want to buckle up, then we tell them they need to stop the car, have the person buckle up or have the person get out of the car -- that everybody's safe.”
SETTING RULES FOR THE ROAD
It’s a busy time of year for travel; and it’s also busy for teenagers on-the-go, with sports, summer camps, work and other obligations. Experts like Johnson and Rusk suggest having a conversation with your child, like setting ground rules, including:
1. Limiting who can be in the vehicle with your teen. For new drivers, state law limits passengers based on experience.
2. Consider disabling your phone while driving. Some devices offer a feature that will keep you from texting – until you’re stopped.
3. Limit nighttime driving. This is when a majority of deadly crashes occur; often, it’s a result of either a teen drinking and driving or the driver of another vehicle drinking and driving.