Car crashes are the leading cause of death for 16 to 19-year-olds. That's why different agencies are teaming up with local high schools to show startling reminders of the consequences of impaired and distracted driving.
Students who may soon be getting their drivers licenses or who already have them are reminded today of what can happen when they're behind the wheel. It's a crash course in safe driving... Thankfully, through simulators.
Juniors and seniors at Harbor Creek high school getting an up-close look at what can happen when they're behind the wheel. The students using goggles that simulate driving under the influence. All of this because crashes are the leading cause of death for this age group.
They also listen to an impacted teen driver's presentation; students outside seeing a truck involved in an accident in this area. Geoffrey Crankshaw of the Highway Safety Network, tells us, "Students sign the crash car, pledging to not drive distracted or under the influence".
Sarah Feathers, Senior at Harbor Creek, tells us, "Because we're so young we don't realize what can happen so quickly. We're not experienced like our parents. Not only for us to be able to drive safe but to watch out for other drivers because we could be the victim, not the person who's causing it."
Sam Rose, also a Senior at Harbor Creek, tells us what he got from the program. "The consequences of driving under the influence and such. They also brought to our attention how even when you're not under the influence, just not paying attention in general when driving can hurt you and a lot of other people."
Out of 424,198 registered drivers aged 16 to 19 last year, 17,530 of them were involved in a crash. Students also saw more than 3,000 names of Pennsylvania DUI crash victims in the trailer. Geoffrey Crankshaw, of the Highway Safety Network, tells us, "We have the students see and characterize themselves with those names. There's several names the same, like a whole family, title, there's a trooper, there's an officer." Also concerning is the number involving distracted driving; that number increasing each year. From 2014 to 2016, there was a 14.5% increase in distracted driving accidents in this age group.
Crankshaw says, "They got the inexperience, they have the high-risk, and we've got to teach them those differences... A lot of things you can hear statistically that are there for the students to learn and actually participate in that's being taught by a trooper so he has a lot of information."
This program was all a part of National Teen Driver Safety Week.
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