State transportation officials say more needs to be done to encourage teens to drive safely.
Teenage drivers were involved in nearly 13-percent of the motor vehicle crashes in Wisconsin last year, which claimed the lives of 96 teens and injured almost 8,000 more. Nearly half of those killed weren't wearing a seat belt.
State Transportation Safety Director Major Dan Lonsdorf says many efforts have been made to educate teens about defensive driving, but parents need to take a more active role. He says spending time with young drivers behind the wheel and establishing rules for driving can be very effective in making teens think about how to be more defensive.
Lonsdorf says there needs to be a balance that gives teens the freedom they need to learn how to drive, while also teaching them how to get on the road safely. He says the only way for many of them to make the right choices is to accumulate experience behind the wheel. However, they need to know how dangerous speeding and distractions can be.
Lonsdorf says the death of a Greenfield boy this week highlights the bad choices teens often make while behind the wheel. The 17-year-old was killed while drag racing with friends.