Thousands hit the road for Spring Break

Posted at 1:58 PM, Apr 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-14 13:58:43-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) --  The sun is shining, the temperature is heating up, and thousands of school kids are out on Spring Break in Central Virginia, which means thousands of newly licensed drivers are striking out on road trips.

"I'm mean it's exciting.  You pile in the car with all your friends," said Kate VanDerzee, a junior at Deep Run High who was heading to the beach Monday.  "There's a lot of distractions, and you can lose track of what's going on."

AAA Mid Atlantic and other driver advocacy groups are reminding drivers, young and old, to stay alert whenever they are on the roadway.  April is distracted month, and AAA said distractions come in many different forms.

"As a parent, just remember to remind your children to remove all distractions and be safe," said Tammy Gobert with AAA Mid Atlantic.

Smart phones provide a new level of distraction for young drivers who thrive on staying connected with friends.  A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation found that more than 1/3 of drivers admit to looking at a text message or email while driving. [RELATED: Click here to take the W82TEXT pledge]

Of those who admitted to driving and texting, 96 percent said they know their actions are putting themselves and other drivers in danger, according to AAA.

VanDerzee's car is a stick shift, so she said she's removing all distractions before heading out on her Spring Break trip.

"I mean if you don't get there, there's no fun!" she said.