Memorial Day to Labor Day is unofficially known as the "100 Days of Summer." But, according to AAA, it is also the "100 deadliest days" for young drivers, and new statistics back up that ominous term: the number of deaths from crashes involving young drivers soars to an average of 10 every day -- 16 percent higher than the rest of the year.
The leading culprits for this increase in crashes among young drivers are inexperience, distracted driving, and impaired driving.
Over the next 100 days, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin will use Twitter (@AGKilmartin) and the Office of Attorney General's website (www.riag.ri.gov) to educate teens and young adults about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving.
This summer campaign expands the already popular It Can Wait program Attorney General Kilmartin and partners AT&T, the Rhode Island State Police, and the RI Division of Motor Vehicles have brought to high schools across the state for the past five years in which young drivers learn about the deadly consequences of distracted driving and pledge to put down their phones when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Attorney General Kilmartin will tweet out a different statistic or fact on distracted or impaired driving each day, and encourage followers to share the message within their social media circles.
The hashtags #ItCanWaitRI, #distracteddriving, #100DeadliestDays, #DrunkDriving, #DriveSoberOrGetPulledOver, #ClickItorTicket, and #BuckleUp, among others, will be used throughout the campaign along with links to partner websites with additional information on the issues.
"I recognize that changing driver behavior is an ongoing battle. We need to continually reinforce the message that distracted driving and impaired driving is dangerous and all too often deadly," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "There is encouraging news though. Studies show that peer influence can have a tremendous impact on drivers' behavior, especially teen drivers. It is my hope that young drivers share these messages with their friends and family."
According to a survey by AT&T, most people (about 75%) have almost all or most of their texts, social media interactions, and emails with just five people. The research also showed that people and their top five contacts have a lot of influence over each other: more than eight in 10 people said they would likely stop or reduce their smartphone use while driving if one or more of their top five contacts asked them to, and nearly 85% would be likely to stop sending smartphone communications to their top five contacts when they know they're driving.
For more information on the campaign, please follow @AGKilmartin on Twitter.