LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) – Getting a driver's license and feeling a new sense of freedom is an exciting time in any teenager's life – but with school about to start next week, local law enforcement officials are reminding new drivers to be safe.
Teresa Brandise, who lost her daughter, Olivia, six years ago when she was a passenger in a car that lost control near Seven Hills, reminds parents that safety starts with them.
“If parents will start teaching them to drive when they're 10 or 11 years old by pointing out things: ‘Watch that driver, we slow down when the light turns yellow, we stay this far away’ and let them notice street signs before they're 15 and a half, I think that will make a big difference.”
Senior Ryan Everson says drivers his age do take risks.
“You do see a lot of people partying in the car, using their cell phone and texting while driving and on social media, which is a bit scary, yea,” Everson said.
The accident stats are even more frightening. Erin Breen of UNLV Safe Community Partnership says in 2012 teen drivers accounted for more than 7,000 accidents in the Las Vegas area. Five of them died.
But, she says, things are improving. Today, teens are less likely to drink and drive, and more likely to buckle up. Free programs such as Drivers Edge out at Las Vegas Motor Speedway teach teens defense driving skills.