National Teen Driver Safety Week

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 4:24 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It can easily be considered one of the best moments in a teenager’s life.

Getting your driver’s license and getting behind the wheel.

While it can signify a new stage in life, a scary statistic lingers.

“So what we have is national stats, so in 2019, there were 2042 vehicle crashes that ended up in fatalities with teen drivers,” said State Trooper Derek Senegal. “And of those, 628 of those drivers actually died in those crashes.”

According to traffic safety marketing, the leading cause of death for teens ages 15 to 18 in the U.S. is motor vehicle crashes.

“They’re inexperienced drivers,” he said. “So you know, most of the teens, you know, they do like we had this morning, some of them are driving their motor vehicle without a seat belt on, there’s more distractions. So you have to limit the number of passengers in that vehicle.”

As trooper Senegal explains, this week, they are spreading the message of safety.

“We want to make sure that those parents, they have access to their teens, day in and day out,” he said. “So we want to make sure that they know the importance of not driving impaired, utilizing their seat belt, not driving distracted, and also speeding, which is also a major cause of crashes.”

He told 7 News they did some enforcement Thursday morning at a local school.

“We screened approximately 210 vehicles that were entering the parking lot, whether it’s teen drivers, whether their parents were dropping them off,” he said. “We did issue 11 notes or seat belt tickets and four of those were adults, and the other seven were the actual drivers themselves.”

Senegal says they are also spreading the message through social media and going to driving schools, where they are showing power points and showing the consequences of different things like driving impaired, and not wearing your seat belt.

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