Dangerous driving studies on red lights and teens - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Dangerous driving studies on red lights and teens

According to AAA, seven of the ten deadliest days of the year for teens fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day. One big reason: too many distractions. According to AAA, seven of the ten deadliest days of the year for teens fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day. One big reason: too many distractions.
(KFVS) -

Young drivers beware: we're now in the middle of a dangerous season.

According to AAA, seven of the ten deadliest days of the year for teens fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  One big reason: too many distractions.

"I think alcohol is one reason, but also texting because you are not focused on the road," said Emily Gantt of Scott City.

"I think the only thing to cure it is parents taking away the phone while driving," said David Ludolph of Cape Girardeau.

Studies by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration show 75% of teens admit they know texting is dangerous, but less than half admit that they do it while driving.

Also, the same study found for 16 or 17 year olds, the risk of death per mile goes up 44% when carrying a passenger younger than 21. Carry two passengers and the risk doubles.

Local police also blame holiday parties, and less experience.

Older drivers say they try to tell teens it only takes a second for something to go wrong.

"Less than a second," said Jerry Schlereth. "I think they should put a device in your phone so that it won't work while you're moving a certain speed."

Researchers say there is something you can do, talk to your teens and stress simply paying attention could save lives. Tell them to put down the cell phone, stay away from alcohol, and buckle up.

"I don't know if you will ever get through to them but you have to know you tried," said Katie Collier.

Meanwhile, Memorial Day weekend also ranks as one of the most dangerous for intersections.

Reports from the National Coalition for safer roads show 27% more drivers run red lights memorial day weekend.

"They are probably not paying attention or they are in a hurry," said Collier.

Researchers and police say it's likely because many people are anxious to get to the first holiday party of the summer, focusing on the phone, or others in the car.

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