According to recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the state of Alabama has the second highest death rate for teenage drivers.
Officials say distracted driving is a major cause of teen driving deaths in the Wiregrass.
They also say parents should take a more proactive role with their teens driving education.
It takes a lot of concentration when you’re driving down the road.
There can be so many distractions along the way and in the car.
A local teen says she was at a red light and looked down for a second at her iPod.
“I figured it was ok because I was at a red light and I looked up; light turned green and I looked back down to change the song; the lady in front of me hadn't moved and because I was looking at my iPod, I just went and run into her from the back,” Caroline Holman said.
Authorities say parents need to spend more time in the car with teens as they're learning to drive to help them be more aware of focusing on the road.
Houston County Sherriff's Department Sergeant, Randy Anderson said, “I think the old adage says it takes a community to raise a child; we all need to be involved with the young people and the issues of driving, whether it be the parents, the grandparents making children responsible and aware of what's going on.”
Driver’s education teachers say it's important for parents to spend the time with teens before they get to class.
Driver's Education Teacher Jeremy Seamon said, “I've had many instances where kids, their first driving experience was with me in the Drivers Ed car, which isn't real good. Tells you parents aren't taking the time they need to.”
And, Sergeant Anderson says the sheriff's department is working to increase the number of school resource officers on staff that can go to schools and talk to students about safe driving practices.
The Dothan Police Department offers advanced driver's training for teens.
For more information, contact Sergeant Tim Ward at 615-3695.