*Love to see young drivers doing good work!*
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 10 percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the accidents. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the incidents and, since 2007, have been observed manipulating electronic devices at higher rates than older drivers.
Jarret Voorhies, a 17-year-old Sports Car Club of America racer, knows those stats aren’t good and he’s trying to do something to curb the trend. The Orlando, Florida teen for the past few years has been working with the Texas Department of Transportation, Frisco Police Department, Mansfield Police Department and Fort Worth Police Department to present the AT&T “It Can Wait” campaign which educates teens about the dangers of distracted driving.
“I spend a lot of time scheduling events to get the word out about the dangers of distracted driving,” Voorhies said. “If I could make a difference in just one person’s life by getting them to put down the phone while driving, then it’s worth it.”
Voorhies, who races a Formula Mazda and won back-to-back SCCA U.S. Majors Tour races at Road Atlanta this year, has also started working on the State Farm #Drive2N2 campaign aimed at reminding those his age to drive with two eyes on the road and two hands on the wheel at all times.
“I can speak to fellow teens on a peer-to-peer level, and give a teen’s perspective to parents,” Voorhies said. “I use my racing experience for credibility. Not only does the race car make me credible to the people around me, but it also receives a ton of attention when displayed at various events.”
At a recent presentation, a television news crew caught up with Voorhies to learn a little more about his goals and what drives him. Check out the interview segment at the KDAF-TV website.
The SCCA Foundation, the charitable arm of the Sports Car Club of America, also actively engages with teens through Tire Rack Street Survival. These events go beyond antiquated high school driver education programs and give teens across the U.S. the skills and hands-on experience needed to become safer, smarter drivers. Students become more observant of traffic situations and learn to look far enough ahead to anticipate unwise actions of others. As the students master the application of physics to drive their cars, they make fewer risky driving actions.
The school provides trained and qualified in-car driving instructors, as well as valuable classroom experience for each student. More than 100 events were held each of the last two years, and you can check out upcoming dates at the Tire Rack Street Survival website.