MADISON (WKOW)-- Last year 48 teenagers were killed in traffic crashes here in Wisconsin. During National Teen Driver Safety Week transportation officials are working to shrink that number.
What is often considered to be the biggest safety threat to teenagers on the road is now being used to protect them, as long as they don't use it when they're driving.
"You have to work with what you have and this tool helps us get into where they are at," WisDOT Director of Transportation Safety David Pabst says.
The Department of Motor Vehicles has unveiled a brand new smart phone app that gives teenagers mock tests so they can be better prepared before taking their written driver's tests at the DMV.
"They can check their knowledge if they're an established driver or if you're a new driver you can check your knowledge before you take the test to see if you have any weaknesses," Pabst says.
Besides helping teenagers prepare for the driver's test, transportation officials are also hoping the app will teach them a thing or two about safety. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in both Wisconsin and the rest of the country.
While texting and driving is a big contributor, other factors like the number of friends you pile into your car and your ability to think quickly in dangerous situations also come into play.
"What we're finding is that teen drivers are easily distracted. They don't have the driving skills they need right away and any distraction diminishes their ability to drive," Pabst says.
Right now the new app only allows people to practice for the written driver's test, but someday transportation officials say people will be able to use it to actually take the test.
The new app is currently available on iTunes and Google Play. Search "WI DMV Driver Test" to download the app.
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