Impact Teen Drivers in Santa Maria

On Thursday night, Kelly Browning, executive director of Impact Teen Drivers, gave a safety presentation to teens and adults in Santa Maria. Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk reported on the presentation that was aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving among teens. Browning opened the presentation with a true story about a teen who died in a car crash where three occupants were ejected. She is quick to point out that reckless and distracted driving is the top killer of teens across the nation.

Impact Teen Drivers Safety Presentation

About 40 teens and their parents attended the presentation, which was given by Impact Teen Drivers, in conjunction with the Santa Maria Police Department Traffic Bureau and the California Highway Patrol. The presentation also emphasized the importance of adhering to laws regarding teen driving restrictions. Browning also pointed out that most crashes happen in the first 12 months of licensed driving. Parents especially need to pay attention to the restrictions regarding underage passengers between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Additional teen passengers and nighttime driving are two of the eight danger zones for teens.

Eight Danger Zones for Teens

1. Driver inexperience
2. Driving with teen passengers
3. Nighttime driving
4. Not using seat belts
5. Distracted driving
6. Drowsy driving
7. Reckless driving
8. Impaired driving

Dangerous Driving Habits are Lethal For Teens

In 2011, about 2,650 teens, between the ages of 16 and 19, were killed in crashes across the nation. Additionally, about 292,000 teens were injured in crashes. On average, seven teens died in car crashes every day. Driver inexperience coupled with additional factors make dangerous driving habits absolutely lethal for teen drivers and passengers.

Teen Driving Crash Risk Factors

• Underestimating dangerous situations
• Speeding
• Not allowing enough distance between other cars
• Drinking and driving
• Seat belt usage
• Additional teen occupants

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