When it comes to defensive driving, nobody takes is more seriously than the police. These are the folks who are on the scene of every crash. They have seen the worst that can happen when a distracted driver loses control, crosses the median and slams head-on into traffic headed the other way. They measure the skid marks of drivers who carelessly exceed the speed limit, risking their own lives and the lives everyone on the road with them just so they can arrive at their destination a few seconds earlier. Worst of all, they are the ones that make the dreaded phone call to family or friends of someone who was killed in a car crash.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, accounting for a full 30 percent of all teen deaths. This statistic has not changed for several years, proving that despite efforts to turn the tide, teens are still not getting the message.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 have the highest annual traffic violation and crash rate regardless of being male or female. They are also more likely to have a crash when there are passengers in their car, not uncommon when one teen has a car and they want to go somewhere. In fact, they are more than three times as likely to crash when their friends on on-board than when they are driving alone.

This might be part of the reason the California Highway Patrol is offering free driver safety classes for teen drivers. There is no better time to take a California online traffic school than when you are young. Teen drivers are the most likely to be involved in traffic fatalities. They lack the experience required to make good decisions about what is safe behavior behind the wheel and what is not worth the risk.

A traffic school is a great way to help your teenage driver understand the risks inherent in getting behind the wheel of a 4,000 pound missile made of plastic and steel, and pushing down on the accelerator. It helps them understand the dangers of distracted driving; the risks of not wearing their seat belt, and the obvious ramifications of not properly following all traffic signals and safety laws.

Anyone who has a teenager at home knows the difficulties of convincing them to alter their behavior for anything. But when their life is on the line, a California traffic school seems worth every minute.