National teen driver safety week

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live)-- Car crashes are the number one cause of death for kids ages 15 to 18. Sunday marks the start of National Teen Driver Safety Week.

That's why police are asking parents to talk to their kids about the rules of the road.

One Fargo mom says she's handing over the keys to her 15-year-old with confidence.

Krista Kramer is new to the roads. She got her license a couple months back. Something she says she'd been looking forward to for a while.

"I was really excited because it just meant freedom for me. Get away from my parents pretty much," Krista says with a chuckle.

But, freedom comes with a price. Krista has to follow Mom's rules if she wants to keep the keys.

"A lot of teenagers don't realize the importance of always taking extra time to get to where you want to go," Krista's mom Rose says. "They are always in a hurry. They are always pushing the next driver."

The first thing Krista does when she jumps in the car is buckle up. After that, she tucks her phone away so she's not tempted to use it.

Before Krista got behind the wheel, Mom had her turn on the phone setting--do not disturb. It makes it so the driver can't get any texts, calls or alerts.

In today's world, cell phones might be the biggest distraction. But, they aren't the only ones.

"Having a big group of people in your car or someone messing around," Krista says. "Or loud music and phone calls."

Distractions aren't the only thing drivers are up against. North Dakota roads are no joke in the winter.

"This is North Dakota. We have different seasons," Rose says. "We have beets, we have slippery roads, we have ice that just shows up one morning."

Krista's got the answer.

"Just drive like your grandma has a hot pot of chili in the back seat," Krista says.

Rose says it's important parents set a good example behind the wheel. And that parents should be giving kids constant reminders about safe driving.

Police say because teen drivers aren't as experienced on the roads, they are a potential danger to themselves and other drivers.

In 2017 over 2,000 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver.
Nearly 300,000 were injured.

Police say teens whose parents set firm rules for driving are less likely to drive recklessly.

They also want parents to know that it's okay to talk about safe driving with your kids every day.

NHTSA gives parents tips on how to talk about safe driving behaviors with their teens and how to address the most deadly driving behaviors. Visit www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving.