Driving school

NC in ‘100 Deadliest Days’ of Teen Driving

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — As the school year draws to a close for many North Carolina students, experts want to stress the importance of safe driving this summer.

CBS 17 spoke with national experts and Triangle about why teens are at higher risk of being involved in fatal crashes.

“We are in the early stages of what has, unfortunately, come to be known as ‘The 100 Deadliest Days for Teenagers,'” said Davis Reich of the National Road Safety Foundation.

“The 100 Deadliest Days” is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, considered one of the most dangerous times for teen drivers.

“Last year, 1,755 people died on North Carolina’s roads and highways,” Reich said.

According to North Carolina Department of Transportation records, in the 100 deadliest days of 2020, there were more than 12,000 teenage crashes and 30 teenage deaths in the state.

Reich said that number was up 17% from a year earlier and was the highest level recorded in North Carolina since 2007.

With school closed and many teenagers hitting the road, some for the first time, parents like Britton Williamson said it could be a little scary.

“In town, I know it can get pretty crazy at certain times of the day,” Britton said. “So we were trying to get out and drive during times when there might be a bit more rush hour.”

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Additionally, Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said a top reason for fatal crashes, especially among teenagers, is speeding.

“It involves speeding, (but) it also involves booze…and now, with our current times with phones and everything, it’s distracting,” Baker said. “If it’s not driven properly and you’re not careful, there’s a chance the car will turn into a weapon.”

Nevertheless, new drivers like Evan Williamson are aware of the consequences of driving in general.

“Road watch, make sure other cars don’t come in your lane,” Evan said. “You may be in your hallway, but you don’t want someone else to come into your hallway and hit you. It’s my biggest fear.”

Both Baker and Reich said it all started at home.

It’s important to sit down and have a conversation with your kids about the rules of the road.