VIGO COUNTY, Ind. WTWO/WAWV) – Summer months typically involve a lot of relaxing and vacationing for most, but it can also be the most deadly time of the year for teens.

According to the CDC, car crashes are the second leading cause of death in teens in the U.S.

Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse said that an average of over 2,000 teenagers were killed per year due to vehicle crashes between 2016 and 2020.

“642, or 31%, are during that 100-day deadliest days and that’s like seven deaths a day during the summer months which is a pretty big number nationwide if you look at that,” Sheriff Plasse said.

“100 Deadliest Days” is the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day where the number of teens involved in vehicle crashes or fatalities, increase significantly.

Sheriff Plasse said in Vigo County, there has been one juvenile-related fatality in Vigo County in the past five years.

However, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been any crashes involving younger drivers.

“Obviously they’re out of school, the summertime months kids are out, having fun in vehicles more often and that’s unfortunately when we have more accidents,” Sheriff Plasse said.

According to the 2020 Crash Facts Report from the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, more than 90 out of every 1,000 licensed drivers ages 15-20 were involved in crashes in Vigo County.

The average for the entire state of Indiana was more than 77 drivers in the same age group.

Whether it was caused by speeding, or not paying attention and looking at your phone, Sheriff Plasse said it all starts at home and parents leading by example.

“We can tell them you know, don’t text and drive, don’t speed, but if we’re driving with our kids and we’re texting or speeding, we’re doing the exact opposite of what we’re telling them to do and there’s not a lot of faith in what we’re saying if we’re not doing it ourselves,” Sheriff Plasse said.

Tom Simmons, the Owner of Simmons Driving School in Terre Haute, said the students they currently have, have likely never known a world without a cellphone.

With the hands-free law that went into effect in Indiana in July of 2020, he said the curriculum has stayed the same, but instructors have had to change how they teach.

“Another way that we’ve changed is we’ve been very specific on talking about different scenarios, giving different stories and relating those things to the kids where here’s an individual who didn’t do the right thing, and this is the negative result,” Simmons said.

Simmons said instructors have put a lot more emphasis on keeping everything out of your hands, except for the steering wheel, because of the hands-free law in Indiana.

For any young driver hitting the road this summer, Simmons has this piece of advice.

“You were created for a purpose. If you do these things that are illegal, and you do these things that put you or another life in jeopardy, that thing that you were created to do is going to be lost. And the world is going to be less than it should be because you did something silly,” Simmons said.