Eleventh- and 12th-grade students at Weatherly Area High School attended a powerful and hard-hitting driver safety presentation called "Survival 101" on Friday afternoon in the high school gym.
Presented by Weatherly Police Officers George Keifer and Ed Kubert, Survival 101 is a dynamic multimedia presentation geared toward middle and high school students.
Traffic crashes remain the leading cause of death for Pennsylvania's young people and two-thirds of those killed each year are unbuckled.
In an attempt to change this tragic statistic, Buckle Up Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, is offering secondary schools "Survival 101 a student guide to staying alive."
Providing students with this kind of comprehensive traffic safety education can be an important addition to a school's safety curriculum and could mean the difference between life and death.
The program covers unsafe driving practices, crash dynamics, consequences and preventive safety measures.
Each session is led by a police officer with first-hand experience of how seriously a crash can affect a family and a community and while somewhat graphic in nature, the program is a far cry from the gory driver's education films of the past.
Survival 101 is a personal program custom made for today's teenager which, in addition to seat belt usage, focuses on distracted driving, especially text messaging and mobile device use.
Eighty percent of traffic crashes are caused by driver behavior and most are caused by some sort of distraction just seconds before the crash.
Texting impairs driving ability as much, if not more than, drinking and driving.
Other topics relative to teen driving such as aggressive driving, specifically speeding, fatigued driving, and DUI were also covered with a slide show and short video covering several real-life traffic accidents and their tragic results.
Speeding makes a car harder to control, especially in bad weather, and excessive speeding increases the probability of a crash if you are faced with an unexpected obstacle.
Seat belts are the best defense in just about any type of a crash and some teens are reluctant to buckle up.
When used correctly, seat belts can reduce the risk of fatal injury by up to 60 percent.
Failure to buckle up in Pennsylvania will result in a citation – "click it or ticket."
The program was coordinated by Weatherly school nurse Rebecca McFadden and Buckle Up PA educational coordinator Carol Alonge of the North Central Highway Safety Network.
Survival 101 was created by Buckle Up PA and is and is endorsed by PennDOT, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), as well as the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
For additional information, you can visit www.buckleupPA.org to learn more on the subject.