This week is Teen Driver Safety Week and Tennessee Highway Patrol Captain R.C. Christian said there are a number of factors that affect teens while they are driving.
Christian said it is not just phones that can distract teen drives but also the increased technology built into the car. For parents, Christian said communicating with your teen is key to driving safety.
“Let your child communicate with you, your young driver, knowing where they’re going, knowing what they’re doing, knowing the routes that they will take,” Christian said. “Making them aware, for one thing, that you are watching those kinds of things.”
Christian said speeding tends to be more of a factor than distraction when they look at contributing factors in a crash. Christian said having a teen take ownership of being caught speeding can help teens understand the consequences of unsafe driving.
“They’re the ones that have to be aware of what they’re doing,” Christian said. “Being mindful of the way they act and the way that they react to things.”
Experiences on the road, like getting pulled over for unsafe driving can be a learning experience, Christian said. That experience can help with how teens respond in the future, and not just to their own mistakes.
“One thing you always have to be mindful of and I know that comes with experience as well, is the defensive driving,” Christian said. “I guess it’s something you know, we have learned over the years.”
Christian said he feels strongly about the number of safe teen drivers on the road in the Upper Cumberland. He said he feels blessed when he compares District-6 data to other areas.