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Stats: Distracted Driving For Teens A Big Problem

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Los Angeles, CA -

The statistics are just awful.

That's what I thought when I got to John Borroughs High School Tuesday morning and a publicist handed me a list of stats: Car crashes are the #1 cause of death amongst teenagers 15-20; 60% of all teens will experience a car crash in their first year of receiving a license.

Those numbers are from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says distracted driving accounts for 25% of all reported crash causes.

And, according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) California has the second highest fatality rate for drivers and passengers in car crashes involving drivers between the age of 15 and 20.

The event at Borroughs High School was to put some fear into teen driver minds. One of the ways ImpactTeenDrivers.org, Mercedes Benz Driving Academy and the CHP did that was to do distracted driving demonstrations.

I did one of those -- and killed a lot of safety cones as driving coach Marc Hemsworth tried to annoy me with rapid fire distractions: He turned up the music; tries to get me make a call and screams out turns instructions; He told me it me seem over-exaggerated, but it's what teens might experience after a Saturday night party.

The most powerful thing they did, though, was to bring in Bonnye Spray. Six years ago today her daughter Amanda Clark died. This was just a month before California's texting-while-driving law went into effect. Bonnye says a year and a day before she died she had been involved in a distracted driving accident. She wasn't hurt. She vowed never to end up in that situation again. That was not to be.

Amanda's mom goes to schools like Borroughs to save a teen. She hopes telling her story might resonate with these young drivers. Bonnye says she's made a difference.

But, each time she goes it's never different. Each time she relives her daughter's death. Each time she fights the emotions, the anger and the frustration she feels after losing her daughter. Amanda, she tells me, was "her best friend."

 

 

 

 

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