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Summer: 100 deadliest days for young people on Central Coast roadways

Posted at 8:43 AM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 12:12:23-04

Summer is coined as the most dangerous time of year for teen drivers on U.S. roadways. A youth safety organization is urging parents of young people to talk with their children about the dangers of driving this summer, especially with the resurgence of travel.

SADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions, calls the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the "100 Deadliest Days" because, historically, more young people die in California vehicle crashes in the summer than any other period of the year.

From 2018-2020, San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County were above the state average of 18 percent for collisions caused by people aged 16-21. San Luis Obispo County came in at 21 percent and Santa Barbara County came in at 22 percent.

Rick Birt, president and CEO of SADD, says this year, it’s vital to have a conversation with your children about safety on the roads because of the challenges faced in the last year.

“Inexperience is the number one reason why young people are involved in such a high percentage of those crashes. They don’t know how to make that turn, they don’t know how to properly merge, they’re still figuring out the art and the science of being behind the wheel. As with any skill, the more that you do it, the better you get at that behavior. With young people, and all of us driving less in the last year, we all need to remember those rules of the road,” Birt said.

He adds that with the lack of driver education courses available for teens to get their licenses comes a bigger risk of crashes because of inexperience.