JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. – Alabama is currently the second worst state for teen driving fatalities. “Teen drivers do not have that much experience,” says Sheriff Chuck Phillips of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
Getting a license is a lot more than just hitting the streets. There’s a lot that teens have to remember when they first start driving.
The Alabama Child Death Review System says there are three main factors which influence these deaths: drinking while driving, not wearing a seat belt, and of course distracted driving.
“You know the texting and driving to me is a big issue. The cellphone alone, just phone calls it really takes your eyes off the road,” says Sheriff Phillips. One Jackson County mom says she starting training her teenage daughter early.
“When the car comes on the phone goes off.” Jeanie Eagen says she started preparing her daughter, Tiffany, at a year before her test. “So she would already be ready with knowing the car itself. Know the blind spots of the car. The parking of the car,” says Eagen.
Working at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children, Jeanie knows the importance of teaching her daughter the dangers associated with driving early on. “I do know the statistics of the teen drivers that come in with automobile accidents, so I actually see it first hand through the pediatric ER.”
She encourages other parents to do the same. “If each parent, parented our children to be more safe, then I feel like we’d have a safe community.”