100 Deadliest Days almost over, more fatalities this year

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV)— According to AAA, speeding, distracted driving and drinking and driving are all causes contributing to the higher number of deaths on the road during summer months.

The 100 Deadliest Days are almost over, and there have been more fatal crashes this year than last year. | Credit: WHSV

The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is called the 100 Deadliest Days, when the number of people killed in crashes involving teen drivers increases.

There's just under three weeks left in this year's 100 Deadliest Days, and in the valley, four people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers, according to data from the Virginia DMV. Last year by this time, there had not been any fatalities.

A local driving instructor said there could be a few reasons.

"With teen drivers of course, the lack of experience comes into play, as well as distractions, in and outside of the car," Dawn Hollingsworth, owner of Augusta Defensive Driving, said.

Hollingsworth said she always reminds her students to think about what could happen while they're behind the wheel and how to react.

"What if this car goes through the intersection that's in front of us, or what if they hit their brakes," Hollingsworth said. "What do we do, how do we react?"

Sgt. CJ Aikens with Virginia State Police said in the area over the last year, the most common citations given to teens after crashes are following too closely, speeding and failure to yield.

"It goes back to driver inexperience," Sgt. Aikens said. "Most of us know that, hey we need to give ourselves a little more distance between that vehicle so we can react to their movement or whatever is going on."

Hollingsworth said it can also be common for some teens to think they're capable of anything, like texting and driving, or speeding, even though they are less experienced.

"The combination with the lower skill level, the higher confidence, and speed, definitely can lead to a deadly situation," Hollingsworth said.

Both Hollingsworth and Sgt.Aikens agreed that distracted driving and speeding are dangerous for drivers of any level of experience. They also said everyone should buckle up.