Teen driving wrecks spike during summer

Trooper Greg Sanches
Trooper Greg Sanches

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's the first official day of summer and state troopers say more young drivers are on the roadway. And among teens, car crashes are the leading cause of death.

Out of school and on the road and teens are taking to the streets this summer and parents say they're setting ground rules.

"I try to give him a curfew. My curfew is at 12 and if any time he's not available at 12, I'm normally trying to locate him," said Angela Simmons.

"My first one, she couldn't have a cell phone until she started driving just to be safe and call us to let us know where she was, but I've always told them, you know, do not text or talk on the phone while you're driving. Pull over on the side of the road," said Paula Korn.

DPS Trooper Greg Sanches says putting the phone down is good advice.

"We do have a new law in place that under 18, you cannot use a cell phone or text while driving," said Sanches.

And although car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens across the nation, Sanches says there are things young drivers and parents can do to prevent this.

"The number one thing is slow down. You've got to watch your speed. Speed is very important. Speed is the number one contributing factor in causing collisions out there on the roadway," said Sanches.

Sanches says teen accidents spike some during the summer because more inexperienced drivers are behind the wheel.

"They need to be alert, if they hadn't had a lot of sleep, they need to make sure they get plenty of sleep that day before they drive that night," said Sanches.

Parents say teens should be responsible and drive defensively.

"I've always told them drive slow and take your time, you know, if you're running late, don't get in a hurry," said Korn.

"As a parent, having kids that drive, we try to talk to them about their safety and the law, but also when they get to their destination, calling and letting us know that they're there and then also calling when they're getting ready to leave," said Sanches.

He says make sure your teen is aware of the rules of the road before they hit the pavement and reminds drivers that now front and backseat passengers are required to wear seatbelts.

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