Boys and Girls Club offers safe driving classes to teens

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (October 18, 2015) –- Local organizations are focusing efforts to keep teens drivers safe as Indiana leads the nation for the rate of teen driver fatalities.

“If their life is cut short because they are getting behind the wheel unprepared… then we’ve  lost out on those kids,” Zionsville Boys and Girls Club Unit Director Glenn Sanford said.

Sanford runs monthly teen driver safety classes at the club free to teens ages 13 to 18. UPS partnered with the Boys and Girls Club to offer the classes. More than 20,000 teens have taken the class nationwide since its inception in 2009.

The class takes about three hours and focuses on how to avoid distractions while driving. Students use a simulator that shows them how their driving is affected when they are impaired or using a cell phone.

“When they are taking their eyes of the the road, they are taking their mind off the task of driving,” Sanford said.  “All of those things lead them to get in an accident.”

Cell phones, social media, listening to music and friends in the car are all distractions for teens, Sanford said.

Don Davis’ daughter, Sara Davis, was involved in an accident with a teen driver in 2009 in Carmel.

His daughter was left in serious condition and the driver of the car, Lilly Martyn, died.

“It does put a different perspective on it when it happens that close to home,” Don Davis said.

He said he learned from Sara’s experience and talked more to his younger children about driving safely.

“It’s OK to question your kids,” he said. ” At that age you kind of get the eye roll whenever you give them advice, but I don’t think anything is lost by over communicating the importance of keeping your phone down, keeping your seat-belt on and staying focused on the road even if you are a passenger.”

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