New report shows car crashes rose among teenagers in 2015 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New report shows car crashes rose among teenagers in 2015

(Source:Jasmine Dell/KFVS) (Source:Jasmine Dell/KFVS)
(KFVS) -

According to a troubling new report, more teenagers than ever are dying in car crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the largest percentage increase in almost five decades.

“Well anything can change in an instant, you might think it will take a couple seconds to look at your phone and check your text," Mackenzie Murphy, Junior at Poplar Bluff High School said.

Murphy said she makes sure to pay attention to her surroundings because an accident can happen in an instant.

“But really it only takes a couple of seconds to get in an accident,” she said.

AAA surveyed driving instructors and said the top mistakes teen drivers make are not scanning the road for hazards, speeding and distractions.

Driver's Education Teacher Michael Sowatzke said he tries his best to make sure teens don’t make these mistakes.

“Every day it’s always the same message - 'no cell phones, always buckle up, no distractions, always have someone turn the radio off,'” Sowatzke said.

Murphy said she locks her phone up when she’s ready to get on the road.

“What I do is I have this place in my car where I can put my phone in it and close it and I can’t see any text coming through. It’s out of my mind," she said.

This is an idea that her former drivers ed teacher said is something he pushes for.

“When we have driver’s ed we take the cell phones and put them in the glove box. No one’s allowed to access them to get them in that habit," Sowatzke said. "We’ll be driving around for four hours and the text will still be there that’s the beauty of them...That one second you’re looking down is the second the other guy swerves into your lane.”

Some parents make their kids sign a “driving contract” where they agree not to do many of the common mistakes teen drivers make.

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