(SAN DIEGO, Oct. 3, 2011) – In recognition of October’s National Teen Driver Safety Week, the Trauma Research Education Foundation’s (TREF) Safe Teen Driving Council, which includes the Automobile Club of Southern California, will host a safety fair for teen-age drivers and their parents at a local high school.
The event is free and will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Rancho Bernardo High School, 13010 Paseo Lucido, San Diego, 92128. To register to attend the fair, visit aaa.com/Safety4Teens or call 714-885-2300.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teen-agers nationwide, according to the Auto Club. The driving council, collaboration among San Diego’s six hospital trauma centers, was formed in response to teen driver fatalities and injuries in the San Diego area where more than 200,000 teen drivers are on the road. In 2010 in California, nearly 264 teens, ages 15-19, were killed and another 26,116 were injured in traffic crashes, and of those individuals, 19 teens, ages 15-19, were killed and another 1,971 were injured in traffic crashes in San Diego County, according to the California Highway Patrol.
New to the fair this year is 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 that 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 Anita Lorz, manager of the Auto Club’s Community Relations and Traffic Safety Program. “The fair will highlight key issues affecting teen drivers today such as dangerous driving situations, speeding, texting and DUI,” she added.
San Diego County Board of Supervisors Third District Supervisor Pam Slater-Price is expected to welcome guests to the fair. The teen driver event also will feature panel discussions that will help teens and parents learn about the state’s Graduated Driver License law for teen drivers, DUI laws, and risks associated with distracted driving. Information also will be offered, including key reasons why teens crash, the most dangerous driving situations for teens and how to avoid them. The event also will feature music and a DJ, lunch and beverages, contests, giveaways and other interactive activities for parents, teens and families.
One of those interactive activities is a custom “CarFit,” 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 CarFit also will receive DriverZed, an interactive CD that helps teens become aware of driving risks for novice drivers.
Teens may also 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. Classic cars, hot rods and race cars also will be on display.
Members of TREF’s Safe Teen Driving Council and other organizations will be participating. They include: the Auto Club, the California Dept. of Insurance, CHP, DriveCam for Families, UCSD Health System, MADD, Palomar Council PTA, Palomar Medical Center, Scripps Health, Impact Teen Drivers, Safety Wellness Council, Pacific Safety Council, SAY San Diego, the San Diego Police, San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept. and Teen Recovery Center.