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Teen drivers suffer high accident rates in Tennessee

Tennessee has the 12th highest rate of fatal accidents for teens in the country. The rate is about 15 percent for drivers aged 16 to 17 who are in car accidents. This is a concerning statistic for Tennessee residents and many are looking for ways to make driving safer for teens.

One area teen has become outspoken about teen driving behavior, after she was seriously injured in a car accident in 2008. She was driving with her boyfriend in his Mustang when he lost control and hit a tree. Her boyfriend did not survive the crash. She says that before the accident, she felt indestructible and engaged in more reckless behavior.

Despite the intensive treatment needed to recover from the accident, she graduated high school on time. The woman is now a senior in college and is pursuing a degree in recreational therapy, helping other patients with serious injuries recover from accidents. Her own recovery required 21 surgeries and is ongoing. As a volunteer with the Trauma Survivors Network, she works with others who have experienced traumatic injuries.

Schools are also working to educate teens about safe driving habits. A recent event at Cross Plains School featured a presentation about texting while driving and drinking while driving. Administrators said that they feel it is their duty as educators to teach the kids life lessons beyond math and science.

In addition to the pain and suffering that comes from these types of car accidents, there are also other high costs associated with reckless driving such as medical expenses.

In our next post, we'll discuss some of the factors that contribute to teen car accidents.

Source: WBIR, "TN's teen drivers pay price for inexperience," April 24, 2012.

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