AAA: Distractions and drinking fuel teen driver crashes

Letter: National Teen Driver Safety Week approaching

Vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens in the U.S.

"Teen crash rates are higher than any other age group", said AAA Public Affairs Manager, Cindy Antrican.

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AAA says almost 60% of teen crashes happen when the driver is distracted. Ohio's current limit is midnight, but 75 percent of Ohio's young driver nighttime crashes occur between 9 p.m. and midnight.

The Halton Regional Police Service is again reminding residents of the dangers of distracted driving to mark the fifth annual National Teen Driver Safety Week. AAA says that 15 percent of distracted driving crashes that teens are in are because they're distracted by the passenger in the auto with them.

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Parents can also foster roadway safety by learning about Illinois' Graduated Driver Licensing law and reinforcing its system of restrictions and consequences, including increasing freedom for teens who follow the rules and drive without violations.

The conversation should include risky teen driving behaviors like alcohol, not wearing a seat belt, distracted and drowsy driving, speeding and driving with passengers.

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Riggs-Hopkins arrested Rushing and took him into custody on the charge of possession of methamphetamine with a firearm. At that point Riggs-Hopkins "observed in plain view a rock-like substance on the floor board where his feet were".

It's widely believed that cell phones are the most common cause for auto crashes among teens, but AAA says otherwise. The online AAA StartSmart program also offers great resources for parents on how to become effective in-car coaches as well as advice on how to manage their teen's overall driving privileges.

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