Child Wellness: Teenage drivers
We all know that teenagers take risks and when it involves driving, and it can be deadly. Marcie Fraser takes a closer look.
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"Last time I was arrested was because I was drinking, I had assault in third, and had a robbery," said Ronny Mima, 18.
He began drinking and driving before the age of 14. While in prison, his mother died.
"My mother thought…she was upset with me because she thought I could have died," said Mima.
Each week, 14 teens die in automobile crashes, and not all are the result of alcohol. While each state may differ in driving laws, many are mandating more driving hours for new drivers.
“They need more time behind the wheel at night,” said Cindy Dort, Cornell Cooperative Extension Protection Coordinator.
Some states have what is called the graduated licensing law restrictions.
"Fifty hours of actual driving experience and fifteen of them are at night, only one passenger that is not their parent. The reason for that is for every passenger we add, the percent of the child having a crash, increases," said Dort.
Because most crashes occur from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., new drivers can't drive after 9 p.m. unless they are approved to drive to work.
When teaching your son or daughter to be safe of the road, it takes open communication and patience.
"We want them to have opportunities to learn to make good choices. If they find themselves in a bad situation, you know, 'I better call for a ride home. I better not drive. I better not ride with that person, they've been drinking,' we want them to be armed to make good choices," said Dort.
To find out the new driving laws in your state, check with your local motor vehicle department.