Teen Driving Safety

         A group of high school students spent the morning learning about the dangers of distracted driving and that their driving skills might not be as sharp as they thought.

        This isn’t an arcade game, it’s a piece of equipment that could help save a teen’s life. 

        "Teen drivers in Nebraska make up 7% of the licensed population but are involved in 25% of all crashes," said Nebraska Highway Safety Administrator Fred Zwonechek.

        Teen drivers went through the Ford Driving Skills For Life Program. 

        It allows teens to test their driving with a variety of simulators and set up courses that test their knowledge about distraction, impairment, and seat belt use. 

        The Nebraska State Patrol had a simulator set up that demonstrated the importance of wearing a seat belt. 

        "One person at a time can get in buckles them in and it just goes through a slow peed 360 degree rolls them over basically and shows them the seat belt works it keeps them in the seat right where they belong," said trooper Charlie Cook.

        According to NSP 17 teenagers died in car crashes last year- those deaths could have been prevented had the teens been wearing seat belts.

        The program also focused on distracted driving.

        Students drove a go-kart through a course while trying to respond to a text- they quickly realized paying attention to both the road and their phone wasn’t possible.

        "It does make me more aware of what’s going on around me and it makes me more cautious of what’s going on and it makes me realize me phone is more of a distraction than I thought," said high school junior Makayla Polak. 

        The Nebraska Safety Council is encouraging parents to talk to their teen drivers about safe driving and to be a model of good driving behavior.