Report Shows After School Hours Becoming More Dangerous For Teenage Drivers

By: Julie Maloney Email
By: Julie Maloney Email

Nearly forty percent of people who are killed on U.S. roadways each year are teenagers and a new report by Triple-A says it's getting more dangerous for teens to drive after school.

It's not surprising that teen drivers are often distracted with several passengers, loud music and cell phones. That, along with a busy school parking lot, can be an alarming combination.

Handing over the keys can be a tough move.

"While they're with me, they can be the most careful driver that they can be, but when I leave, what kind of driver will they become," said Driver's Education Instructor Kathy Henry.

Henry says she has control while teaching students, like senior Chris Melton, the rules of the road. But when he leaves school, the parking lot is crowded, cars are bumper to bumper, and students are distracted.

"And just contributing to that would be people in the vehicle talking to them, people using cell phones, people yelling out the windows," Henry said.

And for beginning drivers like Chris, this is a nerve racking situation.

"I think about people pulling out in front of me and if they signal, make sure they follow through," Chris said.

Triple-A reports driving during after-school hours, from three to five in the afternoon, is just as dangerous as cruising on weekends which Henry says isn't surprising. She says the only way to make kids drive smarter is practice.

A new graduated license law went into effect in October, which requires teens to have 60 hours of monitored driving before they get their actual license. Henry says this will make teens take more time to practice driving before they get out on the roads alone.

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