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Teen drivers: What parents should know

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Teen drivers: What parents should know

By Denise Wong. CREATED Aug 19, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Teresa Brandise remembers her youngest daughter as a smiling teenager. On this day, she's looking at a picture of the young girl from 2008. 

"Her name was Olivia Ireland and she was 15," remembers Brandise. 

Olivia died just days after the picture was taken. She was riding in a vehicle driven by a teenage driver. 

"He lost control of his vehicle and it rolled and she was killed. The rest of the boys just walked away," remembers Brandise. 

Nearly six years later, Brandise still finds it hard to deal with the sudden and tragic loss. But she's trying to get a message to other parents now that school is about to start.

More teenagers will be driving to and from campus, possibly with friends and siblings as passengers. Brandise says parents should be aware of who's driving their kids and who their kids are driving. She believes parents should set rules and enforce them when it comes to getting and giving rides.  

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. Erin Breen, director of the Vulnerable Road Users Project at University of Nevada, Las Vegas says that teenagers are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers in their 20's.

Breen also says it's not that teenagers are more dangerous, rather, they have less experience. The Nevada Department of Transportation statistics for 2012 found that in that year, teenage drivers were at-fault in more than 4,200 crashes in Clark County alone. 

Safety advocates like Breen are encouraging parents to talk with their teens daily and remind them of the rules of the road, to have a contract, where parents and teen determine what consequences for breaking the rules are and then folow through.

Denise Wong

Denise Wong

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Denise Wong is a general assignment reporter for Action News. Catch her live reports on Good Morning Las Vegas.