A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association shows fatal traffic crashes involving teenage drivers rose 10% last year compared to the year before.
“In 2015, sadly, the statistics for Nebraska were even worse than the national increase,” says Rose White, with AAA-Nebraska. “Nebraska fatalities for teen drivers increased 20% in 2015 and injuries also increased about 9% in crashes involving teen drivers.”
White says distracted driving is the number-one cause of teen driver crashes and teen passengers are the number-one distraction for those drivers.
“Any passenger should always avoid unnecessary conversations with the driver as this is a big distraction,” White says. “Also, avoid unnecessary phone use. Always put the cell phone away, but if one must be answered, never allow the driver to use it,” White says.
Teenagers apparently haven’t gotten the message about the importance of buckling up. White says, “A review of Nebraska statistics showed that in 78% of the fatal crashes involving teens, the teens were not wearing their safety belt.”
The report finds teen drivers are 1.6 times more likely to be involved in crashes than adults. White says parents should constantly remind their teenage drivers about keeping their focus on the road.
She says parents can certainly provide assistance by being a good driver, setting a good example, never using their cell phone and making sure their teen drivers never do so as well.