Distracted driving has become a serious issue among teens - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Distracted driving has become a serious issue among teens

MOSS BLUFF, LA (KPLC) -

According to S.A.D.D. - or Students Against Destructive Decisions - 90 percent of teens surveyed in 2012 reported they talk on the phone while driving. Ninety-four percent say they speed, and 33 percent say they don't wear their seatbelts.

That's why troopers with Louisiana State Police Troop D paid a surprise visit to Sam Houston High School Wednesday morning.

As students drove in, troopers checked to see if there were safety violations like not wearing a seatbelt and texting while driving. Students were given real citations - in order to make an impact. 

"Our goal wasn't to see how many tickets we can write, but we have to have some teeth behind what we are saying," said Sgt. James Anderson. "There's some people where the educational message doesn't work and the only thing they understand is getting a ticket."

Overall, there were six seatbelt violations, two written warnings, and one window tint violation. 

The goal was to make teenagers more aware. 

Anderson said 30-percent of all fatal collisions are attributed to speed. 

"That actually exceeds distracted driving among factors that cause fatal crashes with teenagers," he said.

Another increasingly concerning factor in accidents is falling asleep behind the wheel. 

"No matter how the crash is caused, having a seatbelt on can make the difference between life and death and that's the point we're trying to bring home to these students today," he said.

Parents are asked to make sure their teenage drivers are alert and aware on the road by opening up communication and being good examples. 

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