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Educating teen drivers about the dangers of getting distracted behind the wheel

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)-This week is National Teen Driver Safety and a new study released by Triple A reveals car crashes are the leading cause of death in teens in Oklahoma and nationwide.  In the US, Over the past five years, teens were involved in 14 thousand deadly crashes--more than 42 hundred of those involved speeding.

It only takes a moment to get distracted behind the wheel. Experts say three of the most common mistakes teen drivers make are not seeing what's around them, speeding and texting.

"A car is a dangerous weapon. The vehicle is a dangerous weapon. It is responsible for a third of the deaths of teenagers in the United States”, said Wade.

It's a responsibility they don't take it lightly at Wade's Driving School.  Driving instructor Tanner Wade believes show and tell is the best way young drivers will learn the rules of the road.

"Texting and driving, you are 23 more time likely to have an accident. We show them how much more likely they are to have an accident or cause an accident”, said Wade.

To bring the point home, Wade show young drivers a board that lists the obituaries of students who have died in car crashes.

"You are not immortal, it can happen to you. It only takes one mistake. It only takes one bad decision to end your life”, said Wade

Putting the phone down and paying attention to the road not only saves lives but protects other drivers, too.  The same rule applies to teens as well as experienced drivers.

"People think driving is their right. Driving is a privilege. You don't have to drive a vehicle you earn that right. Anything that we do that put's other people in danger we should have that right taken away from us”, said Wade.

He encourages parents to lead by example.

"If you don't want your kids to text and drive then don't let them see you do it”, said Wade.

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office says more than 13 thousand teen drivers were involved in crashes in 2015. That's up almost 9 percent from the year before.

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