NBCRightNow.com - According to the centers for disease control car crashes are the leading cause of death for people 15 to 19 years old, but parents can play an important role in preventing accidents.
National teen drivers safety week aims to inform parents and make sure their teens are ready when they get behind the wheel on their own.
"Parents don't want to scare their kids in advance but you got to let them know what can happen," said Carolee Birge, Accurate Driving Academy Owner.
Birge coaches teen drivers from their first time behind the wheel to the moment they earn their intermediate driver's license, but said this process goes beyond her class and parents have a lot to do with it.
"They will drive like their parents because they've watched them for 15 years sitting in the seat next to them so if parents have bad habits they will pick up their parents bad habits to start with," added Birge saying that taking a driving course rather than just learning from parents can decrease the chances of a teen driver getting in a wreck by almost 50 percent.
"Parents and guardians can be excellent role models and drive their vehicles as they expect and demand their teenage drivers to drive<' aid Lieutenant Dale Retzlaff, Washington State Patrol. He also suggests parents make their teen sign a pledge promising they will follow state driving laws.
In Washington, teens can get an intermediate license at 16 if they pass a driving course, but they have restrictions. For the first six months teens cannot have anyone under 20 years-old in the car with them besides immediate family.
Plus they are banned from driving between 1:00 to 5:00 a.m.
Birge said these restrictions help keep them safe but accidents still happen and it all comes down to one thing.
"Inexperience, some are driving under the influence, but mostly inexperience," concluded Birge.