New courses designed to prevent distracted driving among teenagers

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Amy Freeeze reports on lessons to keep teens focused behind the wheel. (WABC)

Closed driving courses can give drivers practical safe driving lessons.

But even with programs like this summer is still the most deadly time of year for vehicle crashes - and car accidents are the number one killer of teens.

Ford Driving has a nationwide safe driving tour to help. It's all designed to safe lives and they are focusing on the new, number one concern for parents. Distracted driving.

Young drivers face more risks. Selfies behind the wheel are seen as more of a threat now than drunk drivers, according to parents speaking out on social media. which reaches 100 million users every month reveals the new primary concern for mothers of teens drivers.

"The number one fear moms have for teen drivers, we now see driving while distracted as a number one concern," said Lisa Stone of

"I was on a fender bender on the off ramp from the highway," said 17-year old John Norman.

"To look down at your wrist, even for a couple of seconds, while driving 55 miles an hour you can almost go through a whole football field," said digital lifestyle expert Mario Alexander.

Teen drivers face more risks with smart phone use in the car.

New distracted driving aimulations are designed to help. I tried to text the Pledge of Allegiance while driving and my eyes were off the road more than half the time.

Doing it on a driving course, you realize, using your phone is just not worth it.

"You've got technology in the car, you've got the radio, you've got speed limits that they ignore. Those are the things that scare me, that they get distracted and want to use that freedom of driving the car and take it too far," said parent Mickie Dorado. "I think it's just experience. The more time you can get with them on the road, having a calm demeanor if possible, and having someone else teach them."

"Anticipate anyone pulling into your lane, always anticipating, and then getting to practice those skills here really helped me a lot," said 18-year old Alex Dorado.

Along with these practice courses there are online simulations too... but the message remains very clear about the most important rules of the road: Buckle up, because 20 percent of teens don't buckle up, and keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Ironically, the cause of concern for distracted driving is primarily technology - but it is technology where the answer may be found.

New apps are being designed to shutdown phone use when a car reaches a certain mph. Parents will be able to monitor via GPS where their teen is travelling to and what speed they're going. Even the company FORD is designing cars with this distracted driving generation in mind.

AMY 38:12 simulated drunk driving suit and now what?
Standup 43:50, 45:00, 45:28
STANDUP whether you are a teenager or not 3 traditional rules buckle up hands on the wheel and eyes on the road
TEASE 46:33 distracted driving

Related Topics:
trafficdistracted drivingcar accidentsroad safety
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