Currently The Leader's managing editor, Echo Day is an 11-year veteran of the paper.

Teen driving

Summertime traditionally brings family vacations, relaxation, and plans for a new school year. But AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety reports  a more perilous side to summer as over 1,050 people were killed in auto crashes involving a teen driver in 2016 during the 100 Deadliest Days, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

That’s an average of 10 deaths per day—an increase of 14 percent compared to other times of the year. Speed and nighttime driving were significant factors contributing toward the number of crashes and fatalities.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Division of Insurance is urging parents to take extra precautions between Memorial Day and Labor Day by stressing the importance of safe driving habits, driver training, and obeying traffic safety laws to their teens.

 “This summer, I am urging parents to remind teens of safe driving practices and the deadly consequences that can result from acting recklessly behind the wheel,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “I am also reminding Tennesseans to help us end distracted driving. Let’s put distracted driving in park, Tennessee.”

In an effort to reduce the number of accidents involving teen drivers, TDCI’s shares the following tips:

Set Rules

  • Limit the number of passengers allowed in a teen’s car.
  • Make distracted driving zero tolerance.
  • Set a curfew for driving. In 2016, 36 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involving a teen driver occurred between9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
  • Stress the importance of seat belts and lead by example.
  • Encourage teens to speak up if they are a passenger in a car where the driver is practicing unsafe driving behaviors.
  • Teach by example. Practice safe driving behaviors when behind the wheel.

 About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance: TDCI protects the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Insurance, Securities, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Regulatory Boards, Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, Tennessee Corrections Institute, and TennCare Oversight.

To check a license of a professional regulated by the Department, go to

Echo Day is The Leader's managing editor. To contact her, call 901-476-7116 or email