WINSTON-SALEM — It’s a right of passage growing up, anxious teenagers getting behind the wheel for the first time while worried parents sits in the passenger seat providing instruction.
New statistics from North Carolina Department of Transportation are adding to the pressure.
Lisa Cristobal is a mother of three who lives in Winston-Salem. She has two older sons in their late 30’s and a 16-year-old named Eddie who received his learner’s permit in November. He is now preparing for his driver’s license where he needs 60 hours of driving, but his mother Lisa says it’s a very different experience now.
“Beause with the other two, I felt they were just going to do it whether I allowed them too or showed them how to, but with this one I think it’s because I’m more knowledgeable and the world has gotten much crazier,” Lisa Cristobal said.
She says she now has anxiety about letting him drive, but she does have confidence in his ability.
“It’s other people that make me nervous. We brought stickers for the back of my car that say student driver, because even when he was just learning, just getting in the car, people are just inconsiderate. But I’m confident in the fact that he knows what he is doing and I’m confident in the fact Eddie knows the rules and he drives very well.”
North Carolina Department of Transportation has released data which shows speeding crash fatalities have increased by 11% from 2019-2020. From 2016-2020, 75% of people who died in crashes where male and the counties with the highest ratings being Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford and Forsyth Counties.
For Eddie Cristobal, he’s not a fan of driving and other drivers worry him, but he says his mother has made him become more comfortable behind the wheel.
“My mother has been teaching me how to become a defensive driver. I think that is better because you’re more aware of what’s going on and everything is a lot more I don’t want to say easy, but just overall better to know what you’re doing,” he said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 9,000 lives are lost across the country from speeding-related crashes every year.