How To Prevent Deaths Involving Teen Drivers

Student Driving Lessons

EDEN, N.C. - Car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.

The risk of car crashes is higher among 16 to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. 

In 2015, 2,333 teens in the U.S. were killed in car crashes and 221,313 were injured in 2014.

Those are the latest numbers from the CDC. 

The data also shows six teens died every day from car crash injuries.

Experts say teens are more likely to be involved in deadly car crashes because of inexperience.

"The best way to ensure teen drivers are going to be safe on the road begins at home with their parents or the person that's in charge of making sure that they are driving safely," said Vicky Hale, owner of Elite Driving School in Eden. 

Hale teaches about 180 students each year, mostly 14, 15, and 16-year-olds.

She says overcorrecting is one of the biggest problems for teen drivers, among other things.

"The best thing for a teen to do in that situation is to take their foot off the gas and try to slow down as much as possible," said Hale. " They should gently turn the steering wheel to get back up onto the road and take as much time as they safely can do so."

If you get nervous when you see a student driver on the road, you're not the only one.

Those soon to be drivers say they're worried too.

"There's like a lot of kids that use speed as a factor and they try to race," said Russ Bowers, a 14-year-old student driver. 

"There's always so many good drivers out there but then there's always those couple that just want to have a good time and be reckless and just don't care anymore," said Abby Lucas, a 15-year-old student driver. "It's kind of nerve-racking because you just don't know what to expect sometimes." 

Here's a few tips if you have a teen driver in the house:

  • Buckle up. It's the law and it can help save your life.
  • Get rid of those cell phones.  There are plenty of apps available to let your friends know you're driving and can't talk.
  • Obey the Speed Limit. 
  • Drive alone. Experts say friends in the car can increase the risk of an accident. 

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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