Concerns about teens and driver safety ramp up around Memorial Day

Published: May. 25, 2020 at 6:45 PM CDT
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Memorial Day marks the first day of the "100 deadliest days," the period of time from Memorial Day to Labor Day in which AAA (Triple-A) says you'll likely see an increase in the number of crash fatalities involving teen drivers.

Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Rick Wingate says the KHP is already seeing more people on the roads, especially teenagers.

"I think people are anxious to get back out and I know the teenagers are definitely anxious to get back out and start their summer with their friends and doing the things that they do," Wingate says.

KHP Trooper Tod Hileman says the highway patrol sees more teen crashes during this time very year, and unfortunately recently responded to a crash in which a teen died.

"We had an ATV crash out here in northwest Kansas that killed a teen and, we all... Our hearts are broken when that happens and we have to actually respond to those things," Hileman says.

Hileman says now that the state is starting to reopen and more people will be out on the roads, drivers, especially teens, need to be careful.

"I just would like to make sure the teens understand, the roads are going to be busier and busier and busier," Hileman says. "I think my prediction, we'll see a lot of people who are so tired of being cooped up in their homes. Put that phone down, because if you're not paying attention to the other vehicles and they're not paying attention to you, it's a recipe for disaster."

Wingate asks parents to sit down with their teens to go over safety tips with them before letting them drive.

'They're going to have to maybe go over some of the rules with them, and just remind them that they haven't been driving for awhile," Wingate says. "They do need to remember all of the basic driving rules, and all of the safety rules again."

Those rules include following the speed limits, not using a cell phone while driving and always wearing your seat belt when in a moving vehicle.