Teen Drivers At Higher Risks

JONESBORO (KAIT) When a teen gets behind the wheel-- chances are they may **not** make it back home safely.

That's according to new numbers from triple-a.

Between the years of 2003 and 2007, more teens died on Arkansas roads than any other age group.

According to triple a 453 Arkansans between 16 and 20 were killed in traffic accidents between 2003 and 2007 with more than 50 thousand injured in traffic accidents during the same period.

In Arkansas you can get your learners permit at 14.

The cars were rolling in and the testers were filing into the state police headquarters to take the drivers test.

Like many today Wes watts was on a return try. He did pass it this time which means now he can drive with his parents. Are they ready?

Watts, "I think they are probably really nervous but I think they are really glad I finally passed it."

Wes' mom Tricia says she's ready for her son to get practice behind the wheel.

"You know you just have to have a lot of experience with your parents in the car that's important too."

Triple A is attempting to get legislation through to make changes in the graduated license systems.

Some changes would include raising the minimum age to 16, 50 hours of certified practice and the intermediate drivers not being able to drive after 10 PM until 5 am.

Hannah Stanley is 14 and taking her test for the first time. I asked her why she needed a license.

Stanley, "Bcause all my friends are doing it and it's the youngest you can drive."

But are 14 year olds really mature enough to get behind the wheel?

Stanley, "I wouldn't say all, but some are. I don't know if I am and that scares me."

Hannah did pass her test on the first try a rare occurrence according to state police numbers. The test can be taken on computer or written and you must score an eighty five to pass. This requires some study. Preferably not the night before.

Brittney Guy passed the test after several tries. She passed on some words of wisdom.

"Read the book several times and take practice tests on the computer."

16-year-old Holly Hale didn't pass this time, her first, but will hit the books harder.

She says confidence behind the wheel will come in time. She figures it will take about a year of driving.

One of the common threads I noticed in the drivers and parents alike was a mandatory or even a voluntary drivers education program would certainly be a big help.

Mekelle Stanley, Parent, "Its nice to have mom and dad in the car . But it's good to have somebody that actually teaches it day after day. "

Mandi Fair, Parent, "They need to learn the rules of the road and we talk about it as we're driving."