NORTH CAROLINA - This time of year, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, has been characterized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as the "100 deadliest days" for drivers ages 16 to 25. That statistic is the premise behind non-profit organization StreetSafe's efforts to promote life saving driving education throughout the state of North Carolina and the region each month.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, nationwide, North Carolina is second only to Texas with the highest number of teen crash rates. StreetSafe has said since its program started regularly in Guilford County, the UNC-Chapel Hill Safety Research Center has seen 204 fewer crashes for 16- to 19-year-olds.
StreetSafe said it reaches more than 6,000 young drivers and their families each year and holds monthly sessions in Guilford, Johnston, New Hanover, Pitt and Brunswick counties and is expanding to the states of Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Virginia in 2013 with funding from State Farm Insurance and the Governors Highway Safety Program.
StreetSafe is hosting a hands-on, life-saving driving education session on Saturday, June 15 at Western Guilford High School from 2 to 6 p.m. Elements of that course will consist of supervised driving tests in which participants will get behind the wheel to navigate three distraction-induced driving courses. The courses are designed to teach teens the potential severity of engaging in risky driving behaviors, such as distracted driving (including texting while driving) and speeding, impaired driving and failure to recognize the dangers they are posing for themselves and other drivers on the roads.
Registration for the StreetSafe session at Western Guilford High must be completed prior to the event and can be found on the StreetSafe website.
StreetSafe encourages parents and young drivers to review the state's Graduated Driving License Laws. The organization also advises drivers to consider downloading available cell phone applications that can block texting and/or calls when a vehicle reaches a certain speed.