Local AAA rep highlights teen driving safety during awareness week


HAMPTON ROADS, Va (WAVY) – We are on your side with a message about safe driving during National Teen Driver Safety Week.

AAA is warning that car crashes are the leading cause of death from teens in the U.S.

Phrases like ‘no texting while driving’ and ‘wear your seatbelt’ are common things you hear when talking about driving safety — but this week is also is a reminder to parents to stay involved.

“Teen car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teenagers, unfortunately,” said Holly Dalby with the Tidewater triple AAA.

She is hoping proper education can help curb that statistic.

“Traffic safety is really one of our core missions, helping everyone stay safer in the roads, and we want to take this opportunity to make everyone aware, particularly the teens themselves, and their parents in being involved in that learning process,” she said.

In Virginia, the Department of Motor Vehicles reports 17,600 crashes involving teen drivers ages 15 to 19 in 2019. Those crashes resulted in more than 9,200 injuries and 65 fatalities.

She says they normally provide their dare to prepare classes in person, but because of the pandemic, it’s not an option. They want parents to use their online resources to keep young drivers informed.

“A big one is seatbelts; so simple. Every driver, every passenger, for every ride should have their seatbelt on,” she said. “In 2018 46 percent of teens that were killed in a crash did not have their seatbelt on.”

She said parents providing coaching and enforcing limitations is what can help ensure safe driving habits.

“And they need to practice what they teach them. They need to follow the law while they’re driving, not drive distracted, because they need to set that example,” she said.

She also mentioned that, generally speaking, they have seen an increase in speeding on the roads during the pandemic because there are fewer cars on the road. Not to mention, more students having free time during the day — that puts them on the road at different times.

“65 fatalities in Virginia in 2019. That’s 65 teenagers that didn’t make it to graduation, that didn’t go on. And just using some good common sense and practicing safe driving can help so much,” she said.

If you’d like information on how you can access those safe driving resources click here.

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