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Spate of wrecks serves as reminder for teen driver safety

For many parents, letting their children get behind the wheel is a mixed blessing. While parents may be grateful for not having to drive teenagers to dance classes and soccer games, that relief is tinged somewhat by the uncertainty of having an inexperienced -- and sometimes easily distracted -- driver behind the wheel. Three recent car accidents, including a major wreck in Texas, demonstrate how easy it can be for a teenage driver to put himself and his passengers in grave danger.

Near Chicago, four high school students died when their car went off the road into a creek. In Ohio, an SUV built for five people left a narrow road and ended up in a pond; six of the eight teenagers in the vehicle died. And here in Texas, a teenager ran a stop sign and collided with a tanker truck. The driver and his four friends in the vehicle all were killed.

  - Article By Richard Weaver

Teenage drivers often fall victim to a very preventable cause of accidents: distracted driving, often from their cell phones. One father recounted his terror upon learning his son had driven off the road into a 20-foot ravine after sending a text; that the boy survived was practically miraculous. He was in a coma for the better part of a month and didn't recognize his parents at first.

Texas parents may feel a special reason to make sure their teenagers are safe behind the wheel: As recently as 2010, more Texas teenagers were killed in car crashes in a year than in any other state, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Source: CNN, "Fatal wrecks underscore risks for young drivers," Tom Watkins, Mar. 13, 2013

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