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SPECIAL REPORT: The 100 Deadliest Days for Teen Drivers

News 11 reporter Melissa Zaremba brings us an exclusive report on why the summer months are considered the deadliest for teen drivers.

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY-TV) - The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day is one of the most dangerous times for teen drivers.

With school out means more teens are getting behind the wheel making the summer time to be the most dangerous for teen drivers.

That’s why experts are stressing to encourage safe driving for teens this summer.

Summer months bring a 21-percent increase in teen deaths.

And on average at least 8 teens die nationwide every day during summer break.

With distracted driving being one of the key factors for traffic fatalities. 

“Young people especially always wanting to be connected so they are looking at texts and talking on their cell phones,” said Director of Public Relations for the National Road Safety Foundation David Reich. 

National Road Safety Foundation expert david reich explains why drivers should always be alert.

“If you take your eyes off the road for 3 or 4 seconds, well at highway speeds 3 or 4 seconds you’ve gone the length of a football field, so just imagine driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. That’s essentially what happens when you look down at a text,” said Reich. 

According to the National Road Safety Foundation, traffic deaths last year were the highest in 16 years. 

That means about 1,300 young people will die on our roads this summer.

“When you think of those numbers the vast majority of those deaths and then thousand and tens of thousands of injuries are for the most part are really needless, if you just be careful, if you don’t speed, if you obey a traffic sign and they rules and so on and don’t be distracted chances are you will get to where you need to go safely,” said Reich. 

Over one thousand people died on roads and highways throughout the state of Arizona.

That’s up 6.5-percent from last year. 

“It’s so hard to drill in their heads, especially these young kids,” said Yuma Valley Traffic Survival School Jim Marrion. 

Jim Marrion is a teacher at a local traffic school in Yuma. 

He says urging safe driving can be challenging. 

“I can say it once they drive out of the class and I don’t know how many times walking out of the class in the parking lot you see the teen driver leaving the parking lot burning rubber and to say I didn’t learn anything,” said Marrion. 

Something for teen drivers to know is. 

“When you get your license your not home free, it’s a graduated driver's license and until you are 18 you have certain restrictions on what time of day you can drive, and the number of people in the car and any teen who gets a ticket no matter what it is will be assigned to take traffic survival school,” said Marrion. 

What happens to teens who get multiple tickets. 

“After the third class you don’t have a license anymore, because Arizona has a system of points and once you have over 8-points on your license then you are going to lose your license for a while,” said Marrion. 

But what will it take for teens to take driving more seriously. 

“There are apps that parents can put on phones that can monitor whether a phone is being used while the car is in motion so there are all kinds of things parents can do to try to keep their kids safe,” said Reich. 

Reich says it’s important for parents to show appropriate driving behavior and talk with their kids about the rules of the road. 

Traffic experts say it’s important to always be aware of all your surroundings.

And anytime you decide to get behind the wheel remember to put your phones down and keep your eyes on the road.

If you want to sign up for a local driving class click here for more information on our local driving school. And for driving information and safety tips click here

Article Topic Follows: Special Reports
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Melissa Zaremba

Melissa Zaremba joined KYMA in November 2021 as a weekday morning weathercaster and reporter.

If you have a story idea or want to share any weather pictures with Melissa, you can email her at melissa.zaremba@kecytv.com.

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