'The 100 Deadliest Days' on the highways

Jun 1, 2016

Triple A has dubbed the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day “The 100 Deadliest Days.”

"We see teens driving a lot more, because they're not in school and have a lot more time on their hands," said Triple A North Dakota's Gene LaDoucer. "they're doing a lot more driving. So we tend to see crash risk among teens increase sharply, during the summer months."

LaDoucer says there is a special emphasis on educating teens and their parents about the special dangers during this time. He says about 60 percent of crashes that involve teen drivers are due to distracted driving.

"The top distractions tend to be passengers," LaDoucer said. "About 15 percent of all crashes involving teens are the result of a passenger distracting a driver."

LaDoucer says cell phone distractions account for about 12 percent of the crashes. But he says there is a growing concern about teens texting while they're behind the wheel.

"Teens are moving away from talking on their cell phones, and twoard sending texts," LaDoucer said. "Studies have found that while cell phones increase a crash risk about 4 percent when you talk on them, texting increases crash risk about 23 percent."

But Ladoucer says statistics are now showing the number of car crashes involving teens is starting to drop.

"Teens are starting to get the message that driving is a task that needs their focus," LaDoucer said. "Unfortunately, there are still a number of them who are picking up the habit, and having to stay connected while behind the wheel. We need to stress to them that they need to focus on driving, to avoid distractions, and to get to the destination safely."

LaDoucer says adults, too, need to make sure they understand the risks of distracted driving – especially cell phone use in the car.