Irmo students get hands-on learning experience as Teen Driver Safety Week kicks off
On Monday, teens in Irmo had a chance to see firsthand what it looks like to be drunk and drive a car.
Irmo, S.C. (WOLO) — On Monday, teens in Irmo had a chance to see firsthand what it looks like to be drunk and drive a car. It’s all part of National Teen Driver Safety Week, which kicked off at Dutch Fork High School.
“This was our way of getting in front of students this week and reminding them that distractions behind the wheel can be deadly,” said Taylor Harrison with the Southeastern Chapter of the National Safety Council.
The National Safety Council and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report that traffic collisions are the number one cause of death for teens. 15 to 24 year-olds do not have as much experience on the roads.
“We’ve had many students say ‘I will never drink and drive’ because they can’t even operate a golf cart while they’re using these impaired-simulation goggles,” said Harrison.
National Teen Driver Safety Week hits home for new drivers, by showing them how dangerous it can be to use a phone while driving.
“We ask a student to pull their cell phone out while they’re going through a driving simulation, they crash. And so they’re getting out of the vehicle and saying ‘I won’t use my cell phone when I’m behind the wheel,” said Harrison.
“We’re all guilty of distracted driving, which is a huge issue. So the younger we get these teens involved in these types of situations, the better the outcome is going to be,” said Bobby White, a State Farm Insurance Agent in Irmo.
Using a cell phone is not the only way teens can be distracted while driving.
“It’s been shown that having as many as one extra passenger in the vehicle can be three times more deadly for young, inexperienced drivers,” said Harrison.
The hands-on experience of the simulations will hopefully leave an impact on the next generation of drivers.
“I think they relate to it better. I can tell you hey, don’t drink and drive. Don’t text and drive. But what does that mean to the driver?” said White.
The simulations will travel to high schools across the state as part of National Teen Driver Safety Week.
Click here for resources for teen drivers.