After Memorial Day, NJ teens in ‘100 deadliest days’ on the roads
The "100 deadliest days" for teen highway deaths begins with Memorial Day and an all-too-familiar culprit: Distracted driving.
State Police report 28 driving fatalities so far this year involving drivers or passengers age 20 or younger. Triple-A/Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tracy Noble says "we find that more than 60 percent of teen crashes involves distractions behind the wheel."
She says teens are most distracted by the use of their cell phones and also by passengers.
"So talking or attending to other passengers in the vehicle accounts for about 15 percent of crashes. Talking, texting or operating a cell phone accounts for 12 percent of crashes and attending to or looking to something else in the vehicle accounts for 11 percent of crashes."
Noble says a sense of invincibility leads some teens to text, talk and otherwise drive distracted.
"This belief of invincibility among teens that they can function behind the wheel while texting and driving or looking at social media posts or checking their news feed and that they can do it better than any other driver. Which is not the case and we find this time and time again that teens do not have the experience."
Noble says "we're calling on parents to be responsible and to teach their teens how to drive properly."
She says the summer should be a good opportunity for parents to take extra time and make sure that their teens are confident behind the wheel in all weather conditions. They need to go out at night; they need to go out when it's raining so that they can be more comfortable when they're out on their own.
Noble says they're also asking parents to eliminate their own driving distractions to set a good example for teens.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5