100 Deadliest Days: How to keep teens safe behind the wheel this summer

100 Deadliest Days: How to keep teens safe behind the wheel this summer

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - According to AAA there is an increased danger on the roads from Memorial Day to September.

These days have become known as the "100 Deadliest Days."

According to AAA, 60 percent of teen crashes involved distraction behind the wheel.

"Not putting that phone up for one thing," Laurel resident Janet Blevins. "I hate to see a teenager driving or texting or talking on the phone because it takes away from your vision."

Some said distracted driving is a learned behavior.

"Kids see their parents texting and driving and on Facebook and driving, I'm guilty of it so it's the norm for them," Hattiesburg resident Brandi Sellers said.

A study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that texting and driving is not the number one cause of accidents involving distracted teen drivers.

"Other distractions inside the car, even their passengers just asking them questions," Lt. Jon Traxler  said with the Hattiesburg Police Department. "They turn to look at them and then when they turn to look at them they've over-corrected."

The study found that 15 percent of teen crashes were caused by teen drivers talking or attending to other passengers, while texting and operating cell phones accounted for 12 percent of crashes.

Lt. Traxler said parents can take steps to help limit accidents.

"There are apps that parents can have put on phones that can actually stop the child from being able to use it while they're driving," he said. "There are cheap video cameras that you can actually mount to your cars to be able to see what your child is doing not just inside the car, but also outside the car."

Lt. Traxler said both teens and adults can be charged with careless driving if they are found texting or engaging in other activities that cause them to lose focus on the road.