Winters High School Friday Night Live chapter enters Teen-to-Teen Safe Driving contest

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By McKenna Carrion-Clifford Friday Night Live Member Winters High School’s (WHS) Friday Night Live (FNL) chapter entered the Safety Center’s Teen Safe Driving Contest to empower youth to make safe driving decisions and make a difference in the community around distracted driving.   For many, driving or being in the car with someone who is driving is a daily activity, not requiring much thought or consideration.  However, the reality is that as of 2018, there are 3,287 deaths each day due to fatal car crashes. In 2015, 391,000 injuries were caused in distracted driving related crashes.  According to the Department of Motored Vehicles, nine people in the U.S. are killed each day as a result of crashes involving a distracted driver.  Driver distraction is reported to be responsible for more than 58 percent of teen crashes. Sending just one text can increase your risk of being involved in a crash by 23 times. WHS FNL wants to remind everyone that all of these deaths and injuries are completely preventable. Winters High School FNL chapter members have been busy following the Teen-to-Teen Safe Driving contest roadmap of activities. They began with a distracted driving observational survey conducted on Tuesday, Oct. 8 from 7- 8 a.m. at the corner of Grant Avenue and Railroad Avenue.  FNL student leaders, Juan Blanco and Ethan Berg reported that, “860 cars were observed and of those 15 percent were driving distracted.” The top three distractions were using a cell phone, eating and drinking and reaching for an item while driving.  On Thursday, Oct. 17,  Blanco and Berg partnered with the City of Winters Afterschool Program and California Highway Patrol Officer Fitzhugh to make a presentation to fifth graders about bicycle safety and dangers of distracted biking.  The FNL chapter also had a Snapchat Day, where WHS students thanked Allstate Foundation and the Teen Safe Driving Contest on social media followed by a pledge banner signing where students pledged to not drive distracted or distract a driver. WHS FNL Teen-To-Teen Safe Driving Contest activities culminated with a resource table at the home football game on Friday, Oct. 25. Last year, WHS FNL won third place in this contest and they are hoping to do better this year. The Safety Center received funding from the Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young Program to raise awareness around teen safe driving issues for the California Teen Safe Driving Campaigns.  Distracted driving issues are believed to be under-reported. This dangerous behavior will continue to increase with new in-vehicle technology and the prevalent use of personal electronic devices. The grant will support high school contests for the 2019-2020 school year, where student leaders create a positive teen safe driving message and activities to engage their peers, parents and the community in a month-long teen safe driving campaign.  For more information about the program, contact teensafedriver@safetycenter.org or call 916-438-3385.]]>

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