Driving school

Teen driver safety, safe driving tips for inexperienced drivers

AAA says 7 teens die in car crashes every day

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Two separate car crashes within hours of each other Tuesday in central Kentucky, both killing children ages 8 and 17. In both wrecks, the driver was a teenager. Although the cause of the wrecks is still under investigation, it highlights the potential dangers associated with young, inexperienced drivers. Some people say the lack of driver education in Kentucky schools increases the risk for teen drivers.

“We’ve found that in crashes involving a teen driver, 2 out of 3 people potentially injured or killed are actually someone other than that teen,” says Lori Weaver-Hawkins, public affairs for AAA Bluegrass .

AAA says a new driver with a car full of friends can be easily distracted and could hurt someone, which is a burden. AAA says the teenager must then carry it with him for the rest of his life.

Fayette County District Attorney Larry Roberts said that for the past 40 years no driving lessons have been taught in Kentucky high schools. He thinks this is one of the main reasons why it is more dangerous to be an inexperienced driver on the road.

“The problem with teenagers driving here in Kentucky, the major problem is speed and distance control,” Roberts says. “They don’t understand braking, nobody knows, how many feet it takes to stop a car.”

To help teach teens how to be a safe driver, Roberts started a defensive driving course where kids learn skills like controlling a car when it’s skidding. Although the course was not taught during COVID-19 for health precautions, Roberts hopes to see it return this summer.

“If you catch your right wheel, the passenger wheel, on the side of that road, you have to roll it back. And if you pull it back, instead of hitting the tree in front of you, then you’re going to pull it back and hit your brakes because you’re going to start skidding and you’re going to start skidding says Roberts. “So that’s what’s causing people, lots of kids getting killed in Harlan, everywhere.”

AAA says that without driving lessons in school, the responsibility of teaching good driving now falls on parents and it starts with modeling good driving behavior before your child is even old enough to learn. Some AAA driving tips include limiting distractions in the car with a teenage driver. Not only are phones a distraction, but AAA says newer cars have a lot more technology that can be distracting and dangerous for a new driver.

As prom season approaches graduation, AAA would like to remind everyone not to drive while intoxicated and encourages parents to do so for their children as well. According to AAA, we’re nearing what’s called the “100 Deadliest Days,” between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when an average of seven teenagers die in car crashes a day.