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Driving experts stress importance of parents setting examples for teens

Posted: 7:27 AM, Dec 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-06 13:47:12Z
Youth driving

OMAHA, NEB. (KMTV) — Triplets Palmer, Hogan and Tenley Wright will be old enough to get their licenses in a few months.

"When it comes to driving ... a small error could mean a big mistake," the triplets father Scott Wright said.

"I really focus on driving as well as I can right now, because I know there are lot's of extra eyes watching every move right now," their mother Heather Wright said.

The Wright's agree their triplets could pick up good and bad driving habits from them.

"I know they will watch the speedometer when we're driving," Heather said.

That's why both parents say they constantly stress the dangers involved with distracted driving.

RELATED: TEEN DRIVING CONTRACT FROM CDC

"You know they've been hearing it because they'll say to me 'no phone while you're driving mom," Heather said.

Nebraska Safety Council's Mark Segerstrom says speeding is a major problem among teen drivers.

"Teen drivers in in Nebraska make up 7% of the license holders of the driving population, but they cause 21% of the crashes," Segerstrom said.

He says parents must realize the impact they make on teens.

"Parents might not understand that if you pick up the cell phone and start having a conversation on the phone, you are four times more likely to be involved in a crash," Segerstrom said.

If you're texting, Segerstrom says that number increases to 23%.

According to the Nebraska Department of Transportation, 26% of teens got into crashes due to speed, too fast for conditions.

"We have snow and ice out there, [and] young drivers don't really know how to drive on that," Segerstrom said. "When the roads are clear and if you have some gravel or sand in the intersections, young drivers may not understand that it takes longer to stop on those surfaces."

Scott tells us getting a ticket for running a stop sign became a teachable moment for his kids, and himself.

"I got home with ticket in hand from that experience and my kids hit me pretty hard with it," Scott said. "They were like dad tell us we have to stop at every stop sign how come you don't?"

Segerstrom encourages teens to look out for one another.

"Be a good friend, if your friend is driving and that cell phone text or they get a notification on their cell phone and that driver goes to reach for the phone ... speak up answer the phone for them," he said.

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