In recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week, the Automobile Club of Southern California and the Conor Lynch Foundation will host a safety fair for teen drivers and their parents at a Sherman Oaks high school.
The event is free and open to the public. It is being held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Notre Dame High School, 13645 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks, 91423.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens nationwide, according to the Auto Club. The Auto Club and the Conor Lynch Foundation collaborated to host the fair in response to teen driver fatalities and injuries in the Los Angeles area. In 2010 in California, 191 teens from ages 15 to 19 were killed and another 24,616 were injured in traffic crashes, and of those individuals, 39 teens were killed and another 7,120 were injured in traffic crashes in Los Angeles County, according to the California Highway Patrol.
“The teen driver safety fair focuses on proven ways that teens and parents can work together to help teens become safer drivers and it will also provide take-home resources aimed at keeping teen drivers safe,” according to Anita Lorz Villagrana, manager of the Auto Club’s Community Programs & Traffic Safety Dept.
The teen driver event also will feature educational panel discussions that will help teens and parents learn about the state’s Graduated Driver License law for teen drivers, teen brain development, DUI laws, and risks associated with distracted driving and other high-risk teen driving behaviors. Parents and teens can learn the key reasons why teens crash, the most dangerous driving situations for teens and how to avoid them. The interactive event also will feature music and a DJ, lunch and beverages, contests, giveaways and other interactive activities for parents, teens and families.
Fair guests can also see a demonstration of the Auto Club’s teen driver coaching tool AAAOnboard®, a palm-sized device that plugs into a car’s On Board Diagnostic port and allows parents insured by the Auto Club to set driving parameters like speed and geographic boundaries for their teen. It also can pinpoint the exact location of the vehicle the teen is driving.
“Teen driver safety is everyone’s concern from parents to teens to friends of teens,” said Lorz Villagrana. “The fair will highlight key issues affecting teen drivers today such as what puts teens at increased risk and discuss other teen driving habits like not wearing a safety belt, speeding, texting and DUI.”
The Conor Lynch Foundation was established to support new and existing programs that raise awareness and promote the safety of runners, pedestrians, cyclists and young drivers. Conor Lynch was a tri-athlete who was training with his high school cross country team in 2010 when he was killed by a distracted, unlicensed, hit-and-run driver. He was 16 years old. The woman driver who killed him was 18 years old. The crash occurred during National Teen Safe Driving Week.
“Every day we hear about another driving-related tragedy that could be avoided, and every day we’re seeing local leaders and businesses stand up against teen texting and driving,” said Jeri Dye Lynch, president of the Conor Lynch Foundation. “We’re thrilled and touched that we’re not alone in our mission to promote road safety. The Teen Driver Safety Fair will be held on the final day of National Teen Driver Safety Week, so my hope is that everyone who attends will learn everything they can to be safe while on the road.”
At the teen fair, teens may try “fatal vision” goggles that simulate the dangers of alcohol impairment while trying to complete a task. The event also will feature a rock climbing wall which, when teens reach the top, will put them in a controlled free-fall similar to the impact of a 20 mph car crash. AAA Approved Auto Repair specialists will have vehicles on site to review under-the-hood vehicle maintenance tips with teens and parents. In addition, a TextKills bus pledge can be signed by teens to pledge against texting and driving and a driving simulation course sing remote control cars will be available. Also, the AT & T Driving Simulator will be available to demonstrate the risk with distracted driving. Classic cars, hot rods and race cars also will be on display.
Another interactive activity is a custom “vehicle fit,” which teaches teen drivers seat-belt, foot pedals, mirrors and seat-height adjustments by Auto Club Driving School instructors to help ensure that they understand how to be positioned safely in a vehicle before they drive. Participants of Teen Vehicle Fit also will receive DriverZed, an interactive CD that helps teens become aware of driving risks for novice drivers.
Other organizations that will be participating include: the California Dept. of Insurance, the California Dept. of Motor Vehicles, CHP, Donate Life, LAPD, LA Fire Dept. – Engine 102, Driving Sober to Save a Life, Mid Valley YMCA and Madame Tussauds Hollywood.
Also participating are: Pinecrest Schools, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, Northridge Hospital Trauma, Berman for Congress Quest Driving Safely, Sports Authority, Textkills, Impact Teen Driving, LA Department of Public Health, AT & T, Keeps Kids Alive-Drive 25, and others.