SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Memorial Health is helping new drivers be safe on our roads.
"It's the number one reason why people come to the trauma center in Savannah, Georgia is because they were in a motor vehicle accident," said Dr. James Dunne, Memorial Health.
So, Memorial Health is partnering with the Coastal Health District and the University of Georgia to offer a free driving class. It's called P.R.I.D.E. - or Parents Reducing Injuries and Driver Error.
"They're learning actually from their parents. So, if they see their parents may not be wearing their safety belt or perhaps texting while driving, the teen is often going to incorporate those behaviors into their own driving habits," said Amanda Ramirez, RN, Memorial Health. "The number one killer of teens is that of motor vehicular injuries, and in about 10 percent all fatalities for teens, they're ages 15 to 20-years-old, and they're the drivers of those cars."
While the class is geared toward young drivers, those teaching the course are noticing a trend.
"I think often times parents learn as much about driver safety in this class as the teens do," said Ramirez.
P.R.I.D.E. isn't your average driving class. Not only are parents involved, but teens also have open-ended talks about safe driving.
"It's more of a round table discussion. So, it's not just giving them a lecture of 'you should not do' or the things that you need to be aware of," said LeKara Simmons, Coastal Health District.
With all of the distractions drivers face, Memorial Health is hoping this course will reduce the number of young drivers who wind up in their emergency room.
"I don't think they really understand the potential impact that just answering a silly, simple text could have on the rest of their life," said Dr. Dunne.
The next P.R.I.D.E. class is Monday, April 18th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Savannah-Chatham Police Training Center at 3401 Edwin Street in Savannah. To register, call 912.350.1532.
For more information, please click here.