ALEA on keeping teens safe on the road this summer

Keeping teens safe on the road this summer
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 10:22 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re in the middle of what AAA calls the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers.

They say they see about 30% of teen fatalities happen during the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day, more than likely because these young people are out of school and with more time on their hands to hit the road.

“When you have an inexperienced driver driving for an extended period of time to a location they’re not familiar with, those are all things that increase the probability for accidents,” said Sgt. Jeremy Burkett with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. “Oftentimes, these summer months for the 16-year-old, 17-year-old, 18-year-olds -- this may be the first opportunity that they go outside of their normal area meaning they may go to the lake, they may go to the beach, and then they may go with other young individuals.”

Linda Ayers with the Alabama Driving Academy in Huntsville says better driving skills comes with practice.

“As a mother, as an instructor I believe that it’s important that they get a lot of time behind the wheel driving, because it’s the time there’s different scenarios out there when they’re driving,” she explains.

Law enforcement officials are warning parents that they need to reiterate the importance of safety because there can be some major consequences.

“If you’re speeding, not wearing your seatbelt, driving recklessly, talking on a phone, texting while driving, those are all things you can be ticketed for,” said Sgt. Burkeyy.

If you get in a crash causing injury or death to someone, he says you can also be criminally charged no matter your age.

Those wrecks can also end up hurting your wallet and your driving opportunities too.

“You can get a certain amount of points on your license based on the tickets you recieve,” said Sgt. Burkett. “The State of Alabama Driver’s License Division can suspend the driver’s license so that means you lose your privileges to operate a motor vehicle... As you get those points on your license, it can increase your premiums on your insurance.”

The sergeant says it’s important for parents to sit down with their teens to have a conversation about all of these consequences so they fully understand they have a major responsibility while driving out on the road.

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