PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A new report from AAA says that 16 and 17-year-olds remain the least safe drivers on the road.
The agency found teenagers were three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash than other drivers.
It also appears summer is the most dangerous time on the road.
The study found fatal crashes go up 15 percent between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year.
However there’s some hope on the horizon in the form of a program aimed at keeping teenage drivers safe behind the wheel.
Teens from all over the region took part in a national program, called Tire Rack Street Survival.
“We try to compress two years of experience into a one-day class,” Tire Rack Street Survival Host Tim Hronek said.
The course was set up in Wampum, Lawrence County.
The teens received classroom instruction, which covered a wide range of topics. Then, they go00t real hands-on experience with braking, navigating around obstacles, and a lot more.
“We have a sanded skid pad, where the cars automatically slide that simulates what you would see in a wet or snowy condition,” Hronek said.
“I slammed on the brake after going about 40 mph, it kicked in the ABS. It was pretty cool to experience,” Colin Gwinn said.
The event puts teens and young adults, ages 16 to 21, in some of the most difficult driving situations.
The idea is to show the young and inexperienced drivers how to respond to hazards.
“If I’m ever in the situation, I know what to do now and how to react,” Gwin said.
“With texting and people just being generally more distracted on a daily basis, I think it’s important to give your skills, your children the defensive driving skills that they need in order to react, how to react and avoid accidents,” Jeff Waller, a parent, said.
Parents say they are thankful for the opportunity for their children, especially considering statistics show teens have an 89 percent chance of being involved in a crash during the first three years of driving.
The Tire Rack Street Survival program is set to return to Wampum in September.