NEWTON — In anticipation of spring break and in response to an increase in fatal teen collisions, the NC State Highway Patrol will be conducting Operation Drive to Live during the week of April 5-9. The primary purpose will be to reduce the number of teenage-related traffic collisions and deaths.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, young drivers are significantly over-represented in fatal crashes — particularly teens who are 16 to 19 years old. Immaturity and inexperience are primary factors contributing to fatal crashes by young drivers, especially during the first six months of driving. With this in mind, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America and North Carolina.
Mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. Two common errors accounting for nearly half of the crashes involving teen drivers are speeding and driving while distracted.
In 2020, the Highway Patrol investigated over 26,360 motor vehicle collisions involving young drivers and passengers. Of those collisions, 8,038 injuries were reported and 120 resulted in one or more fatalities. To combat these trends, enforcement and educational awareness activities will be in effect by troopers both locally and statewide.