Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation is urging teens to slow down, avoid distractions when driving, and buckle up because this is the deadliest time of year for teen drivers.
Memorial Day began the 100 deadliest days of the year for teenage drivers. In other words, more teenagers are killed in automobile crashes between Memorial Day and Labor Day than at any other 100-day period during the year.
“Each year, so many people are killed on the road because they are not looking out for themselves or others,” said N.C. Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “All these deaths have one thing in common – They are all preventable. People need to slow down, wear their seat belts, and never drink and drive. We want everyone to get where they are going safely.”
Last year, car crashes during the 100 deadliest days resulted in 30 deaths. While North Carolina has seen a decrease in traffic volume during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of deaths that occurred during this time actually increased in North Carolina and nationwide. State and federal officials are not sure why the increased fatalities occurred, but they have stepped up their efforts to raise awareness to reduce the number of traffic deaths.
Three of the leading causes of traffic fatalities are not wearing a seatbelt, impaired driving and speeding. NCDOT also recommends the following safety tips for motorists:
♦ Do not drive drowsy. Nationwide, driving while drowsy has contributed to more than 1 million collisions and over 6,000 fatalities a year.
♦ Don’t drive distracted. Put your phone away while driving and pull over if you need to take your eyes off the road.
♦ Share the road. Make sure you are watching for motorcyclists, bicyclists and others using the road.
For more information about safe driving and how to prevent car crashes, visit NCDOT’s Governor’s Highway Safety Program or NCDOT’s web page on safe driving.