The number one cause of death for teenagers across the country … is traffic crashes. Statistics show teen drivers are involved in fatal crashes four times as much as adult drivers.
Major Sandra Huxtable with the Wisconsin State Patrol says kids need to pay attention while driving and avoid distractions. “Whether that’s additional passengers or if it’s all the technology that teenagers carry around with them and those types of things … if they’re driving the vehicle we need them to concentrate on driving the vehicle.”
Along with having more distractions, Huxtable says teen drivers are more likely to speed, drive aggressively and are less experienced behind the wheel. Also, she says, bad roads and changing weather conditions make it even worse.
The graduated driver’s license is intended to reduce teen crashes by limiting distractions, number of passengers, and night driving as teens gain experience. But, is it working? “The graduated driver’s license has proven itself to have saved lives … as far as stiffening it even more, I think that’s the parents’ responsibility.”
Huxtable says teen passengers need to be proactive in their safety, including buckling up and paying attention to what the driver is doing, and not being pressured by their peers, and voicing their discomfort if the driver is speeding or otherwise demonstrating risky behavior.
October 16 – 22 is “Teen Driver Safety Week.”
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:45