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Additional safety courses help teens drive safer

Smartphones, smartwatches and tablets are just a few of the distractions vying for a teenager driver's attention as he or she hits the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in children ages 15 to 18. In 2015, 99,000 teenage drivers were injured in collisions, and 1,972 teenage drivers were involved in collisions that resulted in a fatality.

Studies have found that most motor vehicle accidents are the result of distracted driving, weather-related issues or lack of knowledge of car control. Both teenage drivers and older drivers lack experience and knowledge in what to do if an unexpected problem suddenly occurs when driving. One program, called Tire Rack Street Survival, was developed to help teenagers become safer drivers by teaching them how to react to other drivers on the road as well as emergency situations.

The course uses a wet skip pad to simulate driving on snow, rain, ice or other variables that can cause erratic driving. The course also teaches how to safely maneuver the car to avoid an animal or oncoming vehicle and how to properly apply the brakes in an emergency. Additionally, the driving course uses a slalom to help teen drivers learn about weight transfer in a vehicle. Similar programs, such as Ford Driving Skills for Life, B.R.A.K.E.S. and Bob Bondurant, are available throughout the country.

Motor vehicle accidents caused by a teenage driver can result in a variety of unintended consequences, which include serious injuries, costly medical bills, loss of wages and possibly death. If a teenage driver acted negligently, he or she may be responsible for the accident. In this situation, a lawyer may be able to show that the driver acted negligently by failing to take the proper driving courses before operating a vehicle, which might help the injured parties collect damages.

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