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Safe Teen program educates on safety behind the wheel

teen driver

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16-19 year olds than among any other age group. Some of the factors contributing to this statistic include speeding, underestimating dangerous situations, not wearing seat belts and distraction.

That’s why Ascension’s Via Christi recently launched its Kohl’s Safe Teen program, which provides education to teens and pre-teens on risk factors and how to be safe behind the wheel or in the passenger seat.

The Kohl’s-funded program gives students the opportunity to “drive” while distracted or impaired using the VT Touch simulator. While driving the simulator teens can experience how distracting passengers and phones can be while in a safe environment. Working with Law Enforcement and utilizing the DUI goggles, education is provided on driving under the influence as well.

Here’s a few “rules of the road” for teens — and the drivers who serve as their role models — that  could make a life or death difference:

• Always buckle up no matter how short the trip and make sure everyone else in the vehicle does so, too.
• Keep your hands on the wheel and off your phone when driving.
• Don’t use cruise control in rainy or slick conditions.
• While other drivers going faster than the posted limit sometimes make it challenging, slow down and enjoy the ride.
• Keep both hands on the steering wheel in either the 9 and 3 or 8 and 4 position — as this is the safest place for them to be in the event of a crash and airbag deployment.
• When stopping behind another vehicle, you should be able to see its rear tires touching the pavement. If you can’t, you are following too close!

Finally, make sure your vehicle is in good working order and never drive distracted or impaired.

Kohl's commitment to Via Christi is made possible through the Kohl's Cares cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and soft toys, where 100 percent of net profit benefits children’s health initiatives nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one. Kohl's has raised more than $317 million through this merchandise program. For more information, visit Kohls.com/Cares

For information about upcoming Safe Teen events, email Ronda.Lusk@viachristi.org or call 316-946-5045.

About Roz Hutchinson

Roz Hutchinson is a Wichita wife, mother and chief spoiler of six grandkids and three Chihuahuas, a die-hard women's basketball fan, and director of Communications and Public Relations for Ascension Via Christi.