DeWitt: NSC honors Conway, Kendrick for teen driving pilot program

So what topics are addressed in the four-hour time period?

"Inexperience, distractions and peer pressure cause unique driving hazards," Anton said. "Speeding, alcohol and party drugs greatly increase their risk of injury or death. As a driver or passenger, they can greatly reduce their risk by taking control. Committing to changing their driving behavior makes personal, legal and financial sense."

Dangerous driving awareness and safety factors are then backed by workbook exercises, interactive media segments, group discussion, role-playing and short lectures to help them develop convictions and strategies that will keep them safer on the road, Anton said.

"Every day in this country 29 young people are killed in fatal crashes," Anton said. "And 13 of the 29-a-day are alcohol-related."

Students are encouraged to fill out a survey after the course and mail it to the National Safety Council, located in Itasca, Ill.

"Our best feedback has been the comments of students who have completed the course and what they have said to the instructors," Conway said. "What has been successful for us is that we have seen a reduction in the number of complaints of students driving habits to and from school through the neighborhoods."

Ten Central New York schools are now offering "Alive at 25" and the program continues to expand throughout New York state.

We know the causes

Research shows which behaviors contribute to teen-related crashes. Inexperience and immaturity combined with speed, not wearing seat belts, distracted driving (cell phone use, loud music, other teen passengers, etc.), drowsy driving, nighttime driving, drinking and driving, and other drug use aggravate this problem.

Source: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (nhtsa.gov)

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