NC has High Rate of Teen Driving Deaths

NC has High Rate of Teen Driving Deaths

JULY 6, 2005 -- North Carolina roads are the most dangerous in the country for teen drivers. That's according to a study by the National Safety Council.

The council says 20% of all fatal accidents in the state involve teenagers.

David Brewster is Driver's Education Coordinator for New Hanover County public schools.

He's taught plenty of teenagers how to drive and he says there's a good reason for the high numbers.

"In our state, as a rural community for the most part, kids are driving earlier because of jobs and the fact they don't have public transportation," says Brewster.

The National Safety Council has these recommendations for safer teen driving:

  • Require more practice hours for drivers.
  • Restrict the number of passengers teens can carry in their cars.
  • Restrict nighttime driving until age 18.

North Carolina already has some stringent driving laws. That has contributed to a drop in the number of teen fatalities over the past few years, but the numbers remain high.

Brewster says teenagers aren't the only cause of the problem. It's the other drivers they're sharing the roads with. Their bad habits are leading to accidents on our roadways.

"We're driving too fast, too close and the traffic conditions are such that they encourage that kind of behavior," he says.

The trend at the state level is for tougher teen driving laws.In the meantime, Brewster says parents need to take a larger role in supervising their teenagers' driving.

Reported by Samuel King