'The biggest change has been distractions behind the wheel'

'The biggest change has been distractions behind the wheel'

Watch this story live in this evening's KVAL News broadcast

EUGENE, Ore. -- Car accidents remain the leading cause of death for teenagers. While crash-related deaths are on the rise across the country, they remain about the same in Oregon, according to the Highway Safety Association.

Officials from the driving association pointed out that it could be because the number of Oregon teens getting their drivers license has decreased over the last few years.

Monday marks the start of National Teen Driver Safety Week, and driver’s ed instructors like Val Brown want to make sure that young licensed drivers hit the road with the knowledge to keep them safe.

"The biggest change in the last few years has been distractions behind the wheel,” said Brown. “With cell phones, texting is a huge distraction for teens."

Our news team talked with some students at South Eugene High School to find out what they do to stay safe when they're behind the wheel.

“I make sure that when I’m turning I use turn signals and all of that," said Molly Champion.

“I don't text even at stoplights,” said Toby Pasman. “And maybe don't adjust the radio or change the song while you're on the road."

Other students thought that the best way to be a better driver is to learn from people with experience.

"I went to driving school, and also my parents are very protective so they made sure that I drove with them for a long time before they let me drive alone,” said Kwadow Assensoh.

AAA has plenty more safe driving tips for teens on their website.