DRAPER – With Canyons School District back in session, administrators are sharing an important message with teen drivers – slow down and be safe.
“It is a little bit of a learning curve. It`s been a long summer,” John Gleason with the Utah Department of Transportation Zero Fatalities program said. New teens who are driving to school for the first time may overlook safety with their newfound independence.
“It’s so important that we get to those students early so we can create great drivers for kids,” Gleason said.
Slow down in school zones and look out for students who may be crossing the street.
Studies show teens don’t buckle up as often as adults, but Gleason says taking those extra few seconds can save lives.
“It’s the one thing we talk about more than anything, buckling up, but it’s still killing about half of the people who are dying in our traffic fatalities.”
For Luke Warnock, a senior at Corner Canyon High School, he says teens think they are invincible.
“A lot of kids don’t think it’s gonna happen to them but it does it happens a lot actually.”
Nearly two years ago, Corner Canyon lost two classmates in a rollover crash. Police say Lexie Fenton and Ethan Fraga were ejected from their vehicle. It hit the community hard. Since then, students say they’re trying to be more careful.
“It was a difficult reminder of the importance of being safe while you’re driving," Grayden Jackson, a student at Corner Canyon High said. "Wearing your seat belts, and being focused."
Perhaps, the biggest distraction teens face is texting or talking on the phone while driving. But other distractions such as driving with a car full of friends, eating, or watching videos, could put young drivers at even more risk.
“The one thing that’s tough is songs, is when people are looking for songs. Let’s look for a song," Jackson said. "I think that can be very distracting just as much as texting."
Warnock and Jackson hope the message sticks, and students will stay focused and drive safe.