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CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – This week as part of National Teen Driving Week, a new smartphone app was launched at Creekview High School in Carrollton.

The Teen Driver app helps teens drive more safely by encouraging them to leave their phones alone while driving.

The app is started before a trip and as long as they don’t access their cellphones while driving it logs undistracted miles at the end of the trip. Points are awarded based on safely driven miles. Teen drivers receive rewards, such as points toward the annual Teens In The Driver Seat Cup competition and gift cards, for successfully completing set thresholds.

TDS educates teens about their five most dangerous driving risks, including distracted driving. In Texas alone, fatal crashes involving drivers aged 15 to 17 have dropped nearly 70 percent since the program’s inception.

About 2,800 U.S. teens die each year in car crashes; that’s the equivalent of a school bus loaded with teenagers crashing once every week for an entire year.

A landmark research study published recently by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute—found that, on average, a texting driver takes their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At a speed of 50 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

“That’s three out of every four drivers driving while distracted at least some of the time,” said Russell Henk, founder of TDS and manager of TTI’s Youth Transportation Safety Program. “During National Teen Driver Safety Week, it’s especially important to note that distracted driving is a big challenge for all of us—and we can do better.”

“As a father of a teen, a high school senior, this is the #1 thing we care about when our kids get behind the wheel,” said Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Steve Babick, speaking at the launch. “There are many adults who could take to heart the lessons you’re sharing today.”

The Teen Driver app is currently available in the Apple and Google Play app stores.

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