New data highlights dangers for inexperienced drivers in East Texas
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Older kids heading back to school may be driving for the first time, and a recent study sheds light on the dangers posed by inexperienced drivers in Texas.
A study paid for by a law firm indicated Texas was the second most dangerous state for new drivers.
Shari Lanham, owner of the Ace It Driving Academy, said, “Distracted driving is a huge problem with our teens and is what causes most of the teen deaths on our Texas roads -- distracted driving and speed.”
Data shows roughly 4% of drivers in the U.S. are between the ages 15-19, but that small group is more often involved in serious crashes.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, fatal crashes for these youth are three times higher than those over the age of 19.
Kenneth Mayo, a teacher for the Ace It Driving Academy, said getting a driver’s license for the first time can be exciting but can also be dangerous.
“They have that newfound freedom, and the music’s playing, and they just want to have fun with the windows rolled down, and they may not realize how much danger they’re really putting themselves in,” said Mayo.
Contributors to unsafe driving include texting, drinking, friends in the car and speeding.
“When they’re getting used to driving out on the highway outside the city limits, they get used to driving 70 and 75, and they don’t realize how it’s important and why the speed limit changes inside, and how that makes a big difference in what they’re doing,” he said.
Lanham believes getting teens involved in drivers’ education will prevent wrecks and can save lives.
“They learn a lot in the classroom of what not to do. They watch personal videos on personal testimony of teens that have caused deaths on the road,” said Lanham.
The study that ranked Texas as the second deadliest state for teen drivers cross-referenced fatality rates with the ages of drivers who died. Rhode Island came in first.
The cost to insure teen drivers is usually significantly higher than adults. Some providers offer policy discounts for those who take drivers ed.
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