New information recently released by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reveals that new teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash as compared to other drivers in Wisconsin.
“In the past five years in Wisconsin, more than 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving in-experienced teen drivers,” an article on the WSAW website reads. “Distraction plays a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes, according to AAA. It’s something recent Wausau East graduate Austin Jensen is seeing more of.
Jenson told WSAW reporters that he has witnessed a lot of teen drivers being distracted as they are pulling into their school parking lot.
“The top distractions for teens include talking to other passengers in the vehicle and interacting with a smart phone,” the article reads. “Jensen said with apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, drivers are looking down longer.”
Jensen expressed his concern saying that teens were already looking away from the road a lot to text, but with the popularity of social media sites like Snapchat, now most teens are doing it and it keeps their eyes off the road even longer.
“Wausau driver Peter Leone said he sees more recklessness when it comes to texting and driving,” the article reads. “On their phones, I see them when they make a turn, you are supposed to use two hands,” Leone said. “But, if they slipped, they could cause an accident.”
The Wisconsin DOT recently released new data that shows last month was the second safest May since World War II, but traffic deaths so far this year have outpaced the five year average. The numbers reveal that 45 people died in crashes last month.
“You have to pay attention to what you’re doing,” Leone said in the article. “Driving is a privilege but it’s also a responsibility. … A responsibility to remember, as you’re getting from one place to another, that whatever it is – it can wait.”
AAA has released a list of tips aimed at helping teenagers to drive safely this summer. The list can be found here.