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Deputies warn of dangerous teen driving behaviors as the summer season begins

Teens have the highest crash rates of any age group
Posted at 4:55 AM, May 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 12:36:42-04

As we head into the summer months, Tampa Bay area deputies are warning about dangerous teen driving behaviors.

"I see a lot of teen drivers that take selfies of themselves," said Deputy Howard Miller with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. "They are in a rush, constantly texting, It's just a gamut of different infractions that these teen drivers commit."

Memorial Day marks the start of the '100 Deadliest Days of Summer." An average of 260 teens are killed in car crashes each month during the summer, an increase of 26% compared with the other months of the year, according to the We Save Lives Campaign.

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In 60% of teen crashes, distracted driving is the cause. Surprisingly, the top distraction for teens is other passengers, accounting for 15% of teen driver crashes, compared to 12% caused by texting or talking on a cell phone, according the We Save Lives Campaign.

Miller said one of the biggest mistakes parents make is not taking their teens to a professional driving school to learn how to drive. He said there's not driver's education in the majority of schools and many parents will just take their kids out with them to learn the rules of the road, potentially leaving them unprepared.

"When you go to a professional, they go into detail and explain everything that goes on, how to respond and how to react," Miller said. "In today's times you need to be very very cautious in how you drive nowadays."

However, Miller advises all parents to teach their kids to teach respect for the rules of the road.