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TV host advocates for teen driver safety

San Diego parents are probably all too familiar with the dangers of teen drivers. Whether one is encountering them on the road or struggling to instruct a new driver in the family, traveling near or with an inexperienced driver can be a harrowing experience.

That is why TV personality Nancy O'Dell is speaking out about the role of parents in helping teens become better drivers. In many states, graduated licensing programs require a certain amount of practice and impose restrictions on less experienced drivers, such as not allowing them to drive at night or with friends. 

Instructional requirements often end after a driver has has moved past the permit phase, which means that parents can often assume kids are ready for the highway. The truth is that most are not. 

Ms. O'Dell has said that she is following recommendations from the National Safety Council and the Allstate Foundation to spend at least a half hour each week in the car with her 17-year-old, helping him get more supervised practice in beyond what is required by law.

The reason for all of this caution is that teen drivers are among the most likely to be involved in a fatal car accident of any demographic. This is due to a variety of factors but can often be associated with a lack of appreciation for the risks of driving at night or in bad weather, or an underestimation of the risks of driving drunk. Studies have shown that more practice with adult drivers can help reduce the risk of teens being involved in a car accident. 

Source: USA Today, "TV host Nancy O'Dell urges teen driving safety," Chris Woodyard, June 2, 2013. 

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