Raleigh, North Carolina — According to the State Highway Patrol, the number of teenage drivers killed in North Carolina has increased 10% over the past five years.
While teenagers, of course, should be allowed to drive, some say they need more training.
An event at the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Training Center on Sunday taught teens advanced driving skills.
BRAKES, which stands for “being responsible and keeping everyone safe”, is not your typical workout.
Michael Baker, a BRAKES instructor, doesn’t want that to happen.
“Each teenager who crosses decreases the likelihood of being involved in an accident by 64%,” Baker said.
This is because teenagers learn how to handle a car in intense situations and prevent collisions.
“We teach them how to get out of a skid in case they lose traction in their wheels in adverse weather conditions,” Baker said. “We also talk to them about panicking, using the anti-lock braking system that’s on the vehicle, and letting the vehicle run to apply the break for you.”
Car accidents are a leading cause of death among teenagers.
In the past year, five teenagers have been killed in an early morning crash on Capital Boulevard.
And in Knightdale, students at East Wake High School mourned the loss of fellow 16-year-old Gavin Boyd Westover after driver Austin Wade Marx, 17, lost control of a car in Knightdale .
That’s why John brought his son on Sunday.
“It’s heartbreaking. I used to work in law enforcement, so I had to deal with that on the other side as well,” John said. “It’s just a horrible thing.”
Her eldest daughter is also a graduate of the BRAKES program.
“We saw my daughter was a much more confident driver, she took all the lessons she learned to heart and was much more aware when driving in traffic,” John said.
While it’s important for teens to be safe every time they get behind the wheel, during the summer it’s essential for young people to be even more alert on the roads.
The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the 100 Deadliest Days,