TRUSSVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) – Prom Season is well underway and many teens will be behind the wheel during this most exciting time in their lives.  Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.

So today the Children’s of Alabama, State Farm Insurance and Trussville Playstation will partner together to host a Teen driver event. Students from Ashville High School, Mountain Brook Junior High School, and Pinson Valley High School will attend this year’s session.

 This event features hands-on demonstrations and teaching stations about the dangers of distracted driving. The students will drive go-carts featuring “Fatal Vision” goggles, which simulate impairment from drugs or alcohol. Students also will experience distracted driving simulators, an emergency room reenactment by Children’s trauma team and a presentation by Express Oil on vehicle safety. The keynote address will be given by Alabama State Trooper Curtis Summerville.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about 300 teens have died in alcohol-related accidents during prom weekends over the past several years.

The event will take place at Trussville Playstation.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, factors contributing to teen driver crashes include:

  • Not wearing seat belts – more than half of teens killed in crashes weren’t wearing their seat belt
  • Texting while driving – at 55 mph, that’s like traveling the length of a football field blindfolded
  • Afraid and not speaking up – half of the teen passengers report feeling unsafe riding with a driver who isn’t alert; one-third of teens feel unsafe riding with a parent
  • Too many passengers – when two or more teens ride in a vehicle with a teen driver, the risk of a fatal crash can double to triple; many states – including Alabama –  that limit the maximum number of passengers
  • Drinking and driving – 15 percent of drivers aged 15-19 who were killed in crashes had a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher 
  • Driving when it’s dark – the risk of a fatal crash at night can be more than three times higher for teens than adults
  • Speeding – more than one-third of teens killed in crashes were speeding.

CBS 42 Digital Reporter Jessalyn Adams joined the students as they learned about the dangers of risky business behaviors behind the wheel.