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Parents Can Help Reduce Teen Traffic Deaths

June 12, 2012, 6:57 AM by Kellee Azar

Parents Can Help Reduce Teen Traffic Deaths
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

When the summer months arrive, a parent's job of keeping kids safe can escalate.  And AAA says that's especially the case if your teenager is able to get behind the wheel because they're even more likely to be involved in a deadly crash.

"The highest risk for teens is that first year of driving.  And then all of the statistics we are showing are for the ages of 16-19," AAA South Dakota spokeswoman Marilyn Buskohl said.

Depending on when you allow your child to drive, there are a number of factors that increase their chance of a crash.

"Because there is more traffic; there's more traffic and people are excited about going places and seeing their friends and that kind of thing.  And it all plays a part," Buskohl said.

That's something many parents already recognize in their own children.

"Teens get excited.  They are not in school, they want to go have fun and they pick up their friends and they forget about all of the rules of the road," Carol Nesbitt said

To which AAA has a suggestion.

"I would recommend that they limit distractions; not be fiddling with the radio and definitely not be texting or talking on the cell phone," Buskohl said.

When it comes to summer traffic deaths, law enforcement see an increase in numbers especially around a holiday or on the weekends.

"I think it's just important to be more cognizant when there are holidays or more traffic on the roads or weekends, evenings.  If you can restrict your child from driving during those times, it's going to be much safer for them," Buskohl said.

And when in doubt, it may be a good idea to talk to your teenager, which is enough for some parents.

"I'm not worried about my kids because I talk to them a lot of about not taking friends, especially in their early years of driving," Nesbitt said

For more advice and even an agreement parents can use with their teens visit the AAA website.

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