Northwest Iowa — The Iowa Department of Transportation says that we have now entered the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. DOT officials say the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the most hazardous time for teenage drivers, and their passengers.
Iowa State Patrol Trooper Vince Kurtz says the statistics on summer season teenage crashes is kind of the elephant in the room, and needs to be talked about.
Kurtz says there are several reasons why summertime is the deadliest time for teen drivers.
He says when we think of distracted teen drivers, we normally think of the cell phone as the culprit, but there are other distractions, as well.
According to DOT statistics, when there are other teen passengers in the vehicle, the crash risk goes up exponentially. They say that one other passenger increases 44-percent. If there are two teenage passengers, the crash rate doubles, and if there are three or more, the crash rate quadruples. Kurtz says the Iowa DOT now has a new option for teen licenses.
According to the National Safety Council, about 1,000 people die between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year in crashes involving teenage drivers, nationwide. So far this year, 143 people have perished in traffic crashes on Iowa roadways, 35 more than the same period last year.