Local parents stress safety after teen dies in crash

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Jamila Williams and Nikki Martin are new to the driving scene.  Williams still has her learner's permit and Martin has been driving for a year.

"It's a step of freedom," says Williams.

That freedom, though, isn't always easy for their mothers to swallow.

"It still makes my heart race," says Mona Martin.

"Ooh, am I really, really ready for this?" adds Lisa Mays, Williams mother.

"I haven't gotten in any accidents.  I haven't gotten close to any accidents," says Nikki.

Both girls know how easily accidents can happen.

When they heard a Russell County Teenager had been killed on his way to school, one thing came to mind.

"That could have easily been me or somebody else that I've known," adds Nikki.

It's why the families stress safety, especially during the early morning commute.

"Everybody's trying to get to work on time. Students are trying to get to school on time.  So, it can be kinda hectic," says Williams.

"Reinforcing to drive safely, don't speed, leave on time," adds Mays.

According to the Department of Public Safety, 84 Alabama teenagers between 16 and 19 died in car crashes last year.

Five of them happened between 7:00 and 7:30am.

"No matter what you do just be very careful," adds Mays.

It's a message the girls aren't taking lightly.

"Don't talk on the phone, stay focused on the road," says Williams.

"It's not only you on the road, it's like a lot more people and a mistake that you make can cost another person's life," adds Nikki.

Each year from 2006 to 2009, the number of teen fatalities in Alabama went down by more than 15 between the ages of 16 and 19.

The Department of Public Safety says most of the teen fatalities last year occurred between 4:00 and 6:00pm.

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