Teens Distracted Behind the Wheel

By: John Tramontana Email
By: John Tramontana Email

16 year old JoAnne Pohl admits being distracted while she's on the road.

"I talk while I'm driving," the Holt high school sophomore said.

And that's not all. Pohl, like many other teenagers let other things steal her attention, like changing the radio station. It's a choice that has led to more teenage deaths on the road than ever before.

"I'll look down to push a button and then I'll be over in the other lane and I'll be like that (swerving). It's a little scary sometimes," Pohl said.

In a recent study by a Pennsylvania hospital and State Farm Insurance, nearly 90 percent of teens say they've talked on cell phones while driving or have seen others do it. It's a trend that has some parents concerned about their children's safety.

"I would just assume promote not using a cell phone in the car," said Angie Schooley, a mother of two. "I really feel strongly about that. I'd rather have her pull off to the side or whatever she had to do."

It's a lesson that could help to save lives. That's why drivers education instructors are preaching the same message.

"You need to keep your eyes on the road," said Alan Harns.

Harns runs the All Seasons Driving School in East Lansing and teaches dozens of teenagers every year.

"We actually do a lesson on distractions," he said. "They (teens) don't understand that distractions come with the car and also outside the car. Driving is their number one priority. Cell phones and other things need to wait."

But Harns and parents can't always be in the car. That's why they say it's important to create good driving habits in your children, helping to get them to their destination safely.


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