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California Highway Patrol, L.A. Police Department, Impact Teen Drivers & Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy Join Forces For National Teen Driver Safety Week 2013

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Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas Encourages Northridge Academy High School Students to Drive Distraction Free

LOS ANGELESOct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy (MBDA), a California DMV-certified teen driving school, joined forces with Impact Teen Drivers,California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles Police Department to support National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 20-26, 2013. The annual event helps promote teen driver safety with a focus on distracted-free driving, seat belt use, reducing teens' access to alcohol and parental involvement.

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Northridge Academy High School hosted events to highlight safe teen driving behaviors, including a press conference and a distracted driving demonstration by Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy. The number one cause of death amongst teens ages 15-20 is a car crash, according to the Centers for Disease Control. National averages show that teens are most likely to have a significant crash in their first year of driving, four-times higher than an adult or experienced driver.

Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy partnered with two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas to help kick-off National Teen Driver Safety Week activities and raise awareness around teen driver safety. Douglas, 17, currently has her driver's permit and is enrolling in the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy driver education and training programs. "I'm taking my driving lessons as seriously as my Olympic training," said Douglas. "I know that it will take a lot of practice behind-the-wheel, especially driving in big cities. I also feel strongly about encouraging my friends and family to not text and drive."

"Teen Driver Safety Week gives us an opportunity to raise awareness and educate both teens and parents about how we can help prevent tragedies behind-the-wheel," said Carolyn Duchene, director of Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy. "It could be as simple as parents actively participating in their teen's driver education and training with more supervised driving experience and learning how parents can model their own driving behavior."   

"Parents have a significant influence on their teens' driving behaviors," said John Ulczycki, vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Safety Council. "It is important for parents to drive the way they want their teens to drive, and parents need to stay involved. Parents can use National Teen Driver Safety Week to renew their commitment to coaching their teens and spend a little extra time riding along as their teens practice."

According to a recent report, 18- and 19- year-old driver fatal crash rates are higher inCalifornia and nationally after Graduated Driver License (GDL) programs were enacted. One explanation is that teens are simply waiting until they are 18 years old when the GDL no longer applies to them.

"The statistics are clear that even if teens are waiting until they are 18 or 19 years old to get their license, they still need proper driver training and enough time behind the wheel," saidCalifornia Highway Patrol Officer Leland Tang.

For more information on Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy or any of the activities mentioned above, visit www.mbdrivingacademy.com or call 888-MBDA-USA.

About Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy

Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy opened in Los Angeles in November 2011 and is the first international teen driving school. Mercedes-Benz is the only automotive manufacturer to operate a state-certified driver education program in the United States.

Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy features a customized curriculum involving a highly interactive, participatory system of key tactical on-line and classroom components in conjunction with on-road training. The school's highly effective coaching-method and unique offerings, including a closed course distracted driving demonstration, aims to improve better decision-making behind the wheel and develop safer drivers for life. More information on Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy can be found at www.mb-drivingacademy.com andwww.facebook.com/MBDrivingAcademyUSA.    

About Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 14 model lines ranging from the CLA-Class four-door coupe to the flagship S-Class sedan and the SLS AMG GT supercar.

MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans and smart in the US. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.comwww.mbsprinterusa.com and www.smartusa.com

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CHP observes teen driver and school bus safety weeks

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Statewide, the California Highway Patrol will participate National School Bus Safety Week and National Teen Driver Safety Week ending on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

School Bus Safety Week, which began today, observes nearly 1 million California students who ride the bus every day, according to a release.

There are more than 25,000 certified school bus drivers in California who go through 40 hours of training by the state Department of Education. They also attain CHP certification and complete physical examinations as well as drug tests. Drivers must possess valid first aid and medical cars and obtain background clearance from the California Department of Justice. In addition, the CHP inspects and certifies each bus annually.

Although there were more than 1,700 collisions involving school buses in 2011, preliminary CHP Statewide Integrated Traffic Records indicate no school bus passengers were killed in those wrecks.

Studies by the California School Employers Association show the most dangerous part of a school bus ride is when the students are getting on and off the bus.

Motorists are encouraged to pay attention to school buses when the warning lights are flashing. In California, flashing yellow lights are a warning to slow down and prepare to stop. Flashing red lights and the extended stop arm require all motorists to slop for children entering and exiting the bus and crossing the street.

Also this week, the CHP will observe teen driver safety, which began on Sunday.

Vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teenagers. The overwhelming majority of teen collisions are caused by inexperienced drivers or distractions behind the wheel, including using cell phones, eating or drinking, adjusting the radio or simply chatting with friends.

The CHP offers multiple programs geared toward teenage driver education including: Every 15 Minutes, which focuses on high school juniors and seniors; Start Smart, which is a driver safety education class targeting future licensed drivers; and Impact Teen Drivers, which is a public awareness and education program for teen drivers and their parents about the dangers of distracted driving.

National Teen Driver Safety Week is dedicated to raising awareness and seeking solutions to preventable teen deaths on the road. It is held annually during the third week of October.

Allison Gatlin, agatlin@thecalifornian.com. On Twitter @allison_salnews #salinas.

CHS to host teen driving safety event Thursday

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CIRCLEVILLE — A national speaker from Impact Teen Drivers will present a parent/teen workshop at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Circleville High School auditorium designed to educate the community on teen driving safety.

The event will highlight what parents of teen drivers need to know about graduated licensing laws in Ohio, as well as what teens and parents need to know about Ohio texting and driving laws. 

The highlight of the event will be a presentation by Martha Tessmer, whose son Donovan was a high school football star that was being recruited by many colleges, including major institutions here in Ohio.

Donovan’s dreams were cut short in 2007 when he and his girlfriend, along with three other friends, were involved in a crash that caused his death. Tessmer is a supporter of Impact Teen Drivers and is promoting safety to all teens in the hope that their families will not endure the pain of the loss of someone they love.

The state of Ohio passed new laws on texting and driving more than a year ago that prohibits teens from using any type of electronic device while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one reason for deaths in teens and young adults, and distracted driving is a major contributor to these types of crashes.

“We in Pickaway County have been so fortunate to have had many opportunities to host events such as this, and to give parents and teens the chance to learn more about what they can do to improve their safety while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, as well as protecting the lives of those passengers who ride with them,” said Teresa C. Carper, director for Safe Communities of Pickaway County. “The event is free, and we hope that parents and students will take this opportunity to learn more about the responsibility of being a driver of a motor vehicle.”

The event is sponsored by the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office and Circleville High School. Funding for this project is made available through grants by the US Department of Transportation/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Door prizes and give-aways also will be part of the event.

“We hope that parents and teens will join us for this very important event,” said Sheriff Robert B. Radcliff. “One of the worst things a law enforcement officer must do in his/her career is to inform a parent of the loss of their child in a motor vehicle crash. We are committed to do all we can to prevent these types of tragedies in our community.”

All members of the community are welcome to attend. 

Circleville Herald
120 Watt St.
Circleville, OH 43113
740-474-3131