New programs pushes for safer teen driving

Posted By: Jenn Schanz 

Thanks to a grant from the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety, the State Patrol is stepping up its teaching techniques.

“The State Patrol mission is to reduce accidents and to reduce fatality accidents,” says Lieutenant Jeff Wilcynski.

He says the best way to do that, is to get people to buckle up. 

It sounds like a no–brainer, right? But according to the latest numbers, 71 percent of Nebraska’s teen drivers under 19 involved in fatal crashes, weren’t wearing seat-belts.

The new initiative uses simulators to demonstrate the importance of using them.

But seat–belts aren’t the only focus of the program; the State Patrol says eliminating distractions like the radio or your cell phone is an easy way to make the road a safer place, especially for teen drivers.

“We take it personal. Every fatal crash that happens. Every time there is one that does happen, we look at that crash and we look at what we could have done as far as enforcement and education to prevent that crash,” Wilcynski says. 

Other simulators test teens’ attention behind the wheel and reinforces how important it is to focus. Another, using a test dummy, shows teens what a rollover accident without a seat-belt looks like.

Wilcynski says he hopes the simulations will serve as a reality check and wake–up call, and remind young drivers to make smart decisions on the road.

For schools and organizations looking to book a demonstration with the State Patrol’s new program, contact Lt. Jeff Wilcynski at 402-471-4545.