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Stuarts Draft Seniors Share Message About Safer Teen Driving - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Stuarts Draft Seniors Share Message About Safer Teen Driving

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Two students from one Augusta County high school have returned from a national conference on safer teen driving.  Now they're eager to share what they've learned with their peers and their parents.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among people of high-school age, and those who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash.  This past weekend our nation's capital hosted hundreds of students determined to change some alarming statistics.

The problem of distracted driving is personal for two seniors from Stuarts Draft High School, Taylor White and Kalee Stevenson.

"I've seen several people that have had accidents and I've seen the results of them," said White.  "And I just want to prevent more people from having those same accidents."

That's why Stevenson and White earned their way to the Teen Distracted Driving Summit in Washington.  The three-day event brought together students from two dozen states, with the common goal of putting an end to texting while driving.  But the two students also want to reach adults, who find plenty of ways to lose their focus behind the wheel.

Stevenson said, "If you answer the phone, you have to like look at your phone and answer it - and that takes your eyes off the road.  So we're trying to get Virginia to be hands free."

"I think it's really important to get the word out to the adults because the teenagers learned it somewhere," White said.  "They can see their parents doing it, and they think it's okay."

The SDHS students now plan a community conference, with speakers who can make a true impact on distracted drivers.

"Hospital workers who see this, and then also the victims.  I know we have a couple of students here at our school who've lost family members due to texting while driving... and they could speak up," said Stevenson.

The conference will likely be this spring, so the message hits home before prom and graduation.

Stuarts Draft High School is certainly no stranger to activism on safe driving issues.  Just last year, the school earned the $10,000 grand prize in the Act Out Loud competition.

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