AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- The Memorial Day holiday weekend signals the unofficial start to summer and the beginning of the 100 deadliest days of the year.
The summer is the deadliest time of the year for vehicle crashes because of the number of people out on the roads.
As people prepare for travel and outdoor activities, it’s important to keep safety in mind.
The top two reasons for deadly vehicle accidents in the U.S. are speeding and distracted driving. And with more people out of the roads during the summer months, the chances of getting into a crash go up.
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety cautions drivers to pay close attention to what is going on around you, and never drink and drive. They say wearing your seatbelt and allowing a passenger to navigate or change radio stations could save your life.
And above all else–slow down.
“The estimates are, in Georgia for the last three years, probably more than 5,000 people were killed in crashes from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022. This year, the preliminary crash report numbers are encouraging. It’s never good news when anyone dies in a crash, but it’s encouraging because they are significantly lower,” said Robert Hydrick with the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
It’s a very dangerous time for teen drivers too. Hydrick explained that the number one killer of teenagers in the country is vehicle crashes. Once teens become comfortable behind the wheel, they may take more risks when driving like not wearing a seatbelt.
He said the best thing to do to protect your teen driver is to educate them.
“Well, I think the best thing to do is to talk to them about it. I mean, be up front. Be frank. Understand that that car, SUV, truck, whatever they have, it’s a 3,000 pound weapon. And it can, and does unfortunately, kill people. And it can kill you. You’re not bulletproof.”
Here are some apps that can help you monitor your teen driver’s speed. All are available on Android and Apple.
Photojournalist: Will Baker.