Austin officials asking parents to talk to teens about dangers of driving

There were 970 crashes involving a teenage driver in the last year in Austin. Of those, over 50 crashes resulted in serious injuries or death, according to Austin's Transportation Department.

For the week of October 17-23, "National Teen Driver Safety Week," the City's Municipal Court is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to bring awareness of the dangers on the road and focus on the importance of safe driving behavior.  

The Municipal Court said for drivers in Austin who are 16 and younger, there has been more than 300 citations given out in the last 18 months and from those 300 citations, 40-50% resulted in a collision.

Austin Travis County EMS said that nearly half of the wrecks they respond to for teen drivers are due to speeding or distracted driving.

EMS says that when you're behind the wheel of the car, remember your main focus should be on the road.

"When you are behind that wheel, especially as a new driver, there should be nothing else going on in your brain except driving safely," said Capt. Christa Stedman, Deputy PIO with ATCEMS. 

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