Is your teen really ready to drive? - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Is your teen really ready to drive?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, eight teenagers are killed in car accidents every day. In response to this shocking statistic, more extreme teen driver training courses are now being offered coast to coast.

The latest figures from the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration reveal that car accidents are the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 15 and 20. Inexperience, speed, distraction and alcohol are the most frequent factors in teen automobile fatalities.

Parents need to get involved and talk to their teens. Teach them the right way to drive and lead by example. Certified driving instruction or defensive driving classes are great tools, too.

Classes like Driver's Edge put teenagers behind the wheel on a closed course and push their driving skills to the limits. People are so quick to point fingers and blame young drivers for being reckless and immature and out of control, when the reality is that we can't expect them to react any other way when they've never been shown what their limitations are.

In a defensive driving course in Birmingham, Ala., teens learn how to handle skids, avoid obstacles and brake safely. Teens in Tucson, Ariz. recently participated in the Ford Driving Skills for Life program. And extreme teen driver training is making a difference: A study shows that the no-cost Driver's Edge program reduces teen collisions by 53 percent.

Copyright 2011 America now. All rights reserved.