Teen Driving Course Aims to Reduce Fatalities

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Teenage drivers make up a large portion of all U.S. traffic accidents. Dothan Police are trying to lower the statistics.

Victims, defendants and those who just want to be in the 'know' stood around and watched an accident that happened early Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, a grey car that collided with a telephone phone poll had the green light.

However, police say a white SUV didn't stop when it was supposed to.

No one was seriously hurt, but situations like this are all too often a scenario for teen drivers, where the road can be their worst enemy.

"I am a parent. I am concerned with traffic problems that we do face here in Dothan. That's a big challenge on my shoulders," says Dothan Police Patrol Division Head Sgt. Tim Ward.

So, to attack the problem, Dothan Police want to hold a Collision Avoidance-Training Course.

The program allows a driver to have four hours of classroom training, and an additional eight hours behind the wheel.

"A lot of times the worse thing you can do when something occurs in front of you is actually slam on the brakes. This will be teaching them how to steer out of a problem instead of slamming on brakes and coming to a stop. That way, they can avoid the collision instead of slamming into a collision," says Ward.

Police also say cell phones, loud music, and nonstop conversation between driver and passenger can add as a distraction to teen-drivers.

If a teen takes this course, some insurance companies have agreed to drop their rates.

The issue will now go before the Dothan City Commission, who must decide if they'll fund the program.

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