When it comes to family road trips, you’re unfortunately no Clark Griswold and could face dangers beyond Christie Brinkley in a Ferrari. According to The National Safety Council (NSC) if you’re driving Labor Day weekend, the road could be the riskiest it’s been since 2009 and you may not have been protecting any tiny humans back then. They found that 19,100 people were killed in car crashes in the U.S. so far this year — about a 9 percent increase since 2015 and an 18 percent increase since 2014. If that doesn’t seem like a lot, the CEO of the NSC Deborah Hersman compared it to the equivalent of 2 plane crashes every week. Then airlines would really give you something to complain about.
Experts and parents alike suspect that part of the reason for this rise is those damn youths. A survey of over 1,000 newly licensed drivers age 17 and under revealed that 43 percent of them are willing to text and drive. Approximately 35 percent also use social media behind the wheel and won’t stop even if you figure out how to SnapChat them about it. If only hipster parents ironically brought back the car phone, then this wouldn’t happen.
As temping as it is to blame everything on millennials, NBC News points out that the rise of automation in vehicles might also play a part. The rules required for semi and fully autonomous vehicles are still being very much debated between automakers and regulators. Tesla clearly warns drivers that they have to stay engaged even when they’re using the autopilot system, but like your kid, they don’t always listen. Hopefully this weekend, you and your horn can make them.
[H/T] NBC News