Fox Atlanta

June 20, 2011 by New London Driving

New London hosted a Safety Fair for Teens on Friday June 17th.The following is the report done My Fox Atlanta's Tacoma Perry:

ATLANTA - Motor vehicle crashes are the number one leading cause of death for the nation's teens, accounting for more than one in three deaths.

But a driving school is going the distance and teaching powerful lessons in order to save lives.

It's the one thing that get's a teen excited - the possibility of driving.

"I am extremely excited," said student driver Amanda Gibson.

"To get away from my mom! Oh my gosh, I'm so ready just to get out and leave!" said student driver Olivia Wright.

"Freedom to drive. Tired of my parents driving me around. Just open road, free, you can do whatever you want," said student driver Gunnar Reynolds

According to the Centers for Disease Control, teens are four times more likely to get into an accident than adults. But what the New London School of Driving doesn't want is another statistic, so they held a safe driving fair just to let teens know just how dangerous the open road can be.

"Anybody get a hold of her mom? As far as we know she was texting her at the time," said Alan Deighton of the New London School of Driving.

Olivia Wright, 16, isn't actually hurt, but she says participating in one of the many demonstrations made her realize just how big a responsibility driving is.

"I really wouldn't want them to see me like this for something as careless as texting and driving. That's not something I want them to see," said Wright.

The kids also got a chance to see firsthand what happens when you crash at just 35 miles per hour without a seatbelt.

"The baby's already gone, it goes on the first revolution. In real life, the truck would have rolled over the baby and the occupant," said Deighton, describing a video of an accident. "We see the statistics, the dreadful statistics of teenagers squandering their lives on the road and we hope that by doing something like this, they'll realize the dangers."

Another aspect of driving teens aren't really aware of is what to do on the road with an 18 wheeler. For example, if you're driving alongside one and you can see the face of the driver of the 18 wheeler in the mirror, then he can't see you.

"It just showed me that an accident can happen in a second and just like never know where it's coming from. You have to buckle up and be safe. I was real scared," said Wright.

"I knew it was dangerous on the road, but this has really opened my eyes to see i really have to be careful," said student driver Savanna Hardy.

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