Teen Driving Course Aims to Reduce Fatalities

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

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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  • by Carly Location: MI on Aug 2, 2007 at 07:03 AM
    Teen driving statistics are staggering. Most states have enacted better graduated teen driving laws which have had a positive impact. But statistics show that inexperience is still one of largest causes in new driver crashes. I realized on the drive home from the DMV, with my son driving, that other drivers don't have a clue that your teen driver is new to the road. One of the best ways to help keep new teen drivers safe, and you, is by giving them a way to be identified as new drivers by others on the road. By alerting other drivers on the road of the new drivers, experienced drivers can give them more room, be more cautious and a little more understanding when minor courtesy mistakes are made. I found 'new driver' magnets for our car at Rookie Driver.Net. Their web site also includes an entire page of teen driving safety links. Definitely worth a look if you have a new driver or one who is soon to be.
  • by rey Location: ashford on Aug 1, 2007 at 05:23 PM
    the course on driving sounds good but only if the parents attend as well,i find one to be just as bad as the other while driving.i feel the driving course should be mostly for the parent,after all the child learns the wrong way to drive from the parent.
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