Take The Wheel Safe Driver Program

By: Whitney Ray
By: Whitney Ray
The state launched a new website today aimed at making teens safer drivers.

An undated photo provided by Ford Motor Co., of a MyKey. Starting next year, Ford Motor Co. will roll out a new feature, controlled by a computer chip in the key, that allows parents to limit the car's speeds to 80 mph and set a maximum volume for the audio system on some 2010 models. (AP Photo/Ford Motor Co.)**NO SALES**

One in four teens admits to texting while driving. They may be part of the reason why teens were responsible for 36,000 wrecks on Florida roads last year. About 500 of those were fatal.
Scars on his face and neck remind Brandon Donaldson he’’s lucky to be alive. Brandon was riding with a friend who was speeding. He wasn’’t buckled up. According to Brandon, "I was thinking, like, this can’t be happening. I though it was a dream, but that was the last think I remember I don’’t remember hitting the mailbox.”
Brandon is just one of more than 36,000 Florida teens who were in wrecks last year. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles launched a new website aimed at making teens better drivers. Colonel John Czernis of the Florida Highway Patrol says, “two thirds of teens killed in traffic accidents aren’t buckled up. When properly used occupant restraint systems reduce the chance of a fatal injury by 45 percent.”
Patrolmen say distractions like loud music, DVD players and food are the main cause of teen driving accidents. One in four teens admits to texting while driving.
People who send text messages while driving do two things that really worry cops. First they take their eyes off the road.
Second they take their hands off the steering wheel to send messages.” Seventeen year-old Omar Hudson says he’s read text messages while driving. Omar says “I try to look at the text look at the road look back and forth, but I try not to do it too often.”
But once has been too often, too many times. The website, www.takethewheel.net has video messages from teens who survived wrecks and a section for people to post their own stories.
We’’ve linked the driving safety sight to ours.


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