Driving instructor discusses dangers of teen driving

“We have to actually tell them to put their phone away when they’re driving with us.”

Driving instructors discuss the dangers of teen driving

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A second teenager has died after a fiery crash over the weekend.

Wednesday night, Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart confirmed that 15-year-old Camron Dowell died from injuries sustained in the crash on Interstate 55.

Fifteen-year-old De’Anthony Bunch was killed at the scene when the driver lost control and crashed into a concrete overpass.

RELATED STORY: Clinton junior high teen killed in crash heading to celebrate friend’s birthday at movies

The preliminary investigation shows that speed may have been a factor.

Corporal Kervin Stewart with the Mississippi Highway Patrol says it is always difficult working accident scenes where children are involved.

“The first accident I worked, the first crash I worked, fatality I worked, was a teenager I had stopped before,” he said.

Joe Cummings has been a driving instructor for 32 years. His nephew was best friends with Bunch.

Cummings was asked if there is anything young drivers are more likely to do versus adult drivers.

“Teenagers are little bit more aggressive when it comes to driving and so forth, especially when it comes to speed,” he said.

They also text.

“You’re saying that even when you’re teaching them they actually have their phones out?” I asked.

“Oh yeah, that’s one of our rules. We have to actually tell them when you’re driving with us ‘please put your phone up.’"

"More than once we are going to disqualify you,” he continued.

There is something else... and it’s shocking.

“I actually have a couple parents, they feel like their teenager is going to text and drive, so while they’re driving with me it’s OK for me to teach them how to text while driving. And I tell them that’s not OK,” he said.

Both Stewart and Cummings say if a teenager is in a car and someone else is driving, “there is nothing wrong with finding out how long that person has been driving."

“One thing I have always told my son, which my dad told me, ‘If you are out with somebody.. and you don’t feel comfortable, just call me. And I will come and get you, no questions asked,’” Stewart added.

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, teenagers are 1.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident than adults.

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