Summer marks the 100 deadliest days for drivers

Summer is here, and state troopers want to make sure drivers stay safe on the roads.
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 4:33 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2022 at 10:26 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri state troopers want to make sure drivers stay safe on the roads.

In 2021, 333 people were killed in a car accident in Missouri during what’s known as the 100 deadliest days. More crashes happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day than at any other time of year. The causes of those crashes were distracted driving, excessive speeding, and following too closely. Troopers want to help everyone stay safe on the roads with a few critical tips.

1. Put the distractions away. Don’t use your phone when you are behind the wheel.

2. Increase your following distance.

“Because we have such a high volume of traffic overall this time of year one problem is our following distances,” said Sgt. McClure. “Make sure that you are able to stop if the vehicle in front of you has to break in an emergency.”

3. Watch your speed. You don’t always have to drive the speed limit. You can drive slower.

“Practice courtesy, practice patience, and check your attitude,” said McClure. “As a driver, make sure that you are cognizant and aware of the driver that’s beside you, in front of you and behind you, and it’s for your safety and the safety of others.”

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, teen drivers ages 16-17 are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash.

As teens take on the roads, parents need to teach them safe driving habits this summer.

60% of teen crashes happen because they were distracted by their phone or friends. Teach your teen to put the phone away and stay focused on the road when they are behind the wheel.

Buckle up. In 2019 47% of drivers who died in a car crash were not wearing seat belts.

During a driver’s education course, McClure taught Clever High School Students that their attitude while driving can make a big difference.

“We let them know that the aggressive driving, the distracted driving, the impaired driving is all a result of their attitude,” said McClure. “We’re challenging them to change that culture as they gain experience and become licensed drivers, to impart that attitude, to be courteous and to be patient as they’re driving, regardless of what time of year it is, and to be thinking of their fellow drivers.”

According to AAA, more than 7,000 people died in summertime teen driving-related crashes between 2010 and 2019; 701 fatalities were in Missouri.

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