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Kohl's safe teen hopes to reduce teen vehicle injuries and deaths

For every mile driven, drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers 20 and older to be in a fatal crash, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“They also are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations, such as cell phone calling and texting while driving,” says Ronda Lusk, RN, who leads Trauma outreach and education for Via Christi’s Wichita hospitals.

So Ascension Via Christi, with the support of a two-year $200,000 grant from Kohl's Cares, is working to help turn this statistic around through its Kohl’s Safe Teen driver program.

Lusk and other Kohl’s Safe Teen volunteers recently were at the North YMCA’s Late Night event for teens, allowing teens to virtually experience the risks of distracted and impaired driving.

Teens participated in activities such as trying their hand at driving simulators, donning day and night DUI goggles, signing “safe driving” pledge cards and talking with Sedgwick County sheriff’s officers. Participating students received a reflective string back pack, key chain and T-shirt. Teens’ pledge cards were entered into a prize drawing and five won a $10 gift card.

Since 2005, Kohl’s has given more than $920,000 to support Ascension Via Christi programs designed to keep children healthy and safe. Kohl’s Safe Teen provides free hands-on education to teens and pre-teens about the dangers posed by distracted or impaired driving through year-round school presentations and community events.

“We want to reduce the motor vehicle injuries and deaths that we see in our hospital ERs involving teens — both drivers and passengers,” says Lusk. 

To get more information or to set up a program, contact Ronda Lusk at or at 316-268-6760.

About Taylor Valdez

Curly hair with straight priorities. Dedicated student, workaholic and adventurer. When I'm not writing or working, I'm shopping, chowing down on local bites or binging Netflix.