PRIDE course teaches teens safe driving techniques - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

PRIDE course teaches teens to be safe drivers

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The Effingham County Sheriff's Office is trying to keep young people safe behind the wheel. On Monday, they hosted PRIDE, Parents Reducing Injuries and Driver Error. The course is designed to help parents teach their new or soon to be teen drivers what they need to do to be a safe driver.

"I know we wont be able to stop every crash," said a traffic enforcement deputy with ECSO. "I know we won't be able to stop every fatality."

Deputies hope by teaching parents and students about the dangers of getting behind the wheel, they can prevent teen drivers from becoming part of the terrifying statistics.

"Statistics show teens that have died in car crashes, 40 percent of them were speeding," said David Ehsanipoor, ECSO public information officer. "60 percent of teens that were involved in crashes that ended up being fatal were not wearing seat belts. These are the types of things we are trying to drill in the students head and the parents also."

"I hope after this class, he will be better aware of what distractions can happen and can be so easily missed," said Amber Gonsalves, parent. "We talked about it today in the car on the way. The phone will ring or we get a text. We can all get distracted."

Parents say the course was eye opening, even to an experienced driver.

"The video of the crashes have registered in my mind, even as an adult driver," said Gonsalves. "It is concerning, if something impacts me what can happen at my weight and what could happen to my children."

More than 4,000 teens have died each year due to traffic fatalities. That is why deputies are taking a proactive approach to saving lives by educating the public.

"It's all too common around here and if we can save one life by doing this class, it is well worth it," said Ehsanipoor.

ECSO is one of the few agencies in the state of Georgia who have deputies certified to teach this course. It is hosted and sponsored by the University of Georgia.  

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