Special to Atmore News
The Peer Helpers students from Escambia County High School attended the UR KEYS 2 DRV Teen Driver Safety Summit on Oct. 30. The one-day interactive event was held at the Orange Beach Event Center.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Teen drivers have crash rates three times those of drivers 20 and older per mile driven. However, teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and a statewide coalition is working with Alabama students through UR KEYS 2 DRV to address safe driving habits.
At UR KEYS 2 DRV, students heard from speakers and rotated among breakout sessions led by safety experts from State Farm, Children’s of Alabama, Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama Department of Transportation, Injury Free Coalition for Kids, Safe Kids Alabama, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Alabama Sports Festival Foundation. Safety-related topics that were discussed included the Alabama Graduated Driver License Law, drinking and driving, texting and driving, and other distractions. A driving simulator provided a valuable hands-on learning experience, and a simulated trauma showed the students what happens when a victim from a car crash is brought to the emergency room.
A highlight of the day was the keynote presentation by Mike Lutzenkirchen, executive director of the Lutzie 43 Foundation, an organization that aims to develop the character of young athletes and their coaches by focusing on leadership, charity, compassion, mentorship, hard work, honesty and faith. Lutzenkirchen founded the organization in honor of his 23-year-old son, Philip, a former Auburn University football player, who was a passenger in a fatal car crash in which alcohol played a role.
UR KEYS 2 DRV is funded through a grant from State Farm.