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Teen deaths behind the wheel continue to climb in Missouri

By: Stephanie Kayser and David Harris

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — Getting your driver’s license is exciting for both teens and their parents, but the number of teen deaths behind the wheel remains high.

Now, the Missouri State Highway Patrol is making a push for safe driving habits and providing tips for parents.

In Missouri, teen fatalities over the past five years have continued to rise. Deputies are pushing parents to make sure teens are buckling up, driving cautiously and putting down the cell phone when they are behind the wheel.

 

“It’s obviously concerning that last year we had 83 fatalities involving teenagers,” Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe said.

It’s an alarming number that Lowe is working to combat by talking with teens and their parents on safe driving practices.

In 2013, 66 teens were killed in car crashes. Last year, 83 teens lost their lives. Now, with two months left to go in 2018, we are already at 63 deaths.

Lowe says a big problem they see when out on patrol is speeding, and, second to that, texting and driving.

“Reminding them when they leave, drive careful, make sure you are keeping an eye on your speed, let me know when you get to where you are going,” Lowe said.

A new study from Wendt Law Firm in Kansas City and online promoter 1Point21 Interactive shows the deadliest highway stretches in both Missouri and Kansas. They came up with this number after analyzing over two years of collision records.

One area close to us is a 7.8 mile stretch of U.S. Highway 71 in south Kansas City.

Lowe says the best thing for parents to do is to let their kids drive with them as passenger so they are continuing to practice.

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