Eau Claire, WI (WEAU) -- This week is the start of the 100 deadliest days for drivers. So, what may seem like a nice summer drive, or even a quick trip to the store could become dangerous for those on the road, with new drivers spinning their wheels as well as all the distractions summer brings.
As the weather warms up, many of us are eager to take advantage of the outdoors but more people outside means more people on the roads.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says this time of year kicks off the 100 deadliest days of the year.
State Trooper, James Fetherston, understands. He says, “I personally see an increase in dangerous driving during the summer just due to the volume of traffic you have. You have younger people that are out and about having fun, with that increased activity out on the highways, that increased traffic culminated by the construction and the other obstacles that aren't normally out there, inevitably you're going to have more incidents."
Younger drivers are a main reason this time of year is so dangerous. Garry Sherwood should know, as a driver’s education instructor, Sherwood says new drivers want to have fun, but they're not always thinking safety first.
Sherwood says, “What you have is that they get distracted, and when a student is on their cell phone they're not paying attention to what's happening on the highway. It just takes a heartbeat for a
car to come into your lane or to get out of your lane and that half a second or second can mean you end up in the ditch or hitting another car and the consequences of that aren't really good obviously."
Nate Alberts knows those consequences all too well. His texting while driving led to an accident right before he was to graduate high school. Instead of celebrating with his classmates, he was in physical therapy overcoming his injuries.
Albert's experience serves as a warning for those thinking a quick text won't hurt anyone.
Alberts says, "Just don't do it, because it can haunt you severely."
Sherwood also says parents can check with their provider for a phone app that will disable a driver's phone if they're going over 5 miles an hour. He says the app usually costs a few dollars, a price he says is well worth a child's life.