Drinking, distraction among top reasons for teen crashes

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It's National Teen Driver Safety Week and according to AAA, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens (15-19 year olds) in the United States.

A new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows more than 3,500 people lost their lives in car crashes involving a teen driver in 2016. AAA says 115 of those victims were from Michigan.

Drinking and distraction are among the top reasons for teen crashes. According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, other reasons include speeding, drowsy driving and not wearing a seat belt.

“The challenge of being a novice driver on today’s roads presents an even higher risk for teens,” said Susan Hiltz, Michigan public affairs director for AAA – The Auto Club. “It’s important for all of us to set a good example, encourage teens be safe drivers and always help support safety behind the wheel.”

Adults are urged to play an active role in guiding teen drivers. Some tips include:
• Set a good example as a driver
• Talk early and often about the dangers of underage drinking, impaired driving and distracted driving
• Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules against dangerous behaviors
• Enroll them in a driver education program
• Help them practice in varying weather conditions
• Coach them through the learning-to-drive process
• Stay engaged as teens are licensed
• Monitor their driving activity

AAA also has a website dedicated to teen driving safety. You can find a link to that website within this article.

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