Knowing car accidents are the No. 1 cause of death among teenagers, Donnell Jones, an instructor for the Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute, said he wants to teach others about the danger.
Donnell Jones, a Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute driving instructor, talks to more than 20 teenagers and their parents about road safety and safety techniques. He said that he wants to teach the teenagers about safety to prevent deaths in car crashes, the leading cause of death among teenagers.
Photo by Quandra Collins
On Nov. 20, he got the chance to do just that at a free, two-hour driver's education course to about 20 teens and their parents at Wesley United Methodist Church.
"Over 200 teenage drivers and passengers in Georgia are killed each year," he said. "And each year, 6,000 teens die in crashes in the U.S."
Rene Hopkins, a Safe Kids of East Central Georgia coordinator and volunteer-instructor for Parents Reducing Incidents of Driver's Error, said 10 teens have died in Columbia County because of car wrecks in the past 18 months.
Jones said the purpose of the driver's education program in Columbia County was to teach teens safety techniques and the proper behavioral driving attitude. In turn, the parents, he said, were trained separately on how to teach and reinforce those skills during the state's newly required 20 to 40 hours of supervised practice time.
"Some of the characteristics that can be attributed to accidents are inexperience, distractions, coordination, failure to wear a safety belt and/or high-risk driving behavior," he said.
A truck rollover simulator was demonstrated for visitors of a driver safety course at Wesley United Methodist Church in Evans. The rollover showed teenagers and their parents the effects on a dummy adult and infant that were ejected from the truck when it rolled over because their safety belts were not correctly fastened. The course shows teenagers and their parents the need for driving safely.
Photo by Quandra Collins
In addition to the course, teens and their parents had the opportunity to see a simulated rollover wreck in which infant and adult dummies were ejected from a truck because of a failure to secure a child safety seat and safety belt.
Mike Johnson, an Evans parent who attended the seminar with his daughter Meredith, 14, said he was glad he attended the seminar.
"She's the first (child) to drive in the family, and I want to be able to teach her the right way to drive, and this class has done that," he said.
"This (course) was really good," she said. "The simulator was an eye-opener, and the videos and information was very helpful."
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