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Schriever focuses on teen driver safety

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Driving can be dangerous, especially for teens, prompting Schriever Air Force Base to stress driving safety as school begins for many families.

According to the National Safety Council, several factors contribute to the high rate of accidents by inexperienced teen drivers. These include, having young passengers, properly regulating speed for conditions and night driving. Deaths often result from teens neglecting to wear seatbelts. Colorado laws offer some deterrence from dangerous or distracted driving; however, parents can play a critical role in reinforcing good driving habits.

There are several things parents can do to help instill good driving habits in their teens. First, families and individuals can seek updated information on driving laws in Colorado to understand proper driving procedures in the state. Parents should also model good driving practices for their children. Finally, parents should establish clear rules for driving that limit opportunities for unsafe decisions.

Colorado offers a free online course detailing the state Graduated Driver Licensing Law for parents of new teen drivers. The class can be found at

"First and foremost [parents should] understand what the laws are, so they can help their teenagers understand how to follow these rules. You can go online, learn about the GDL Law, and understand the laws so you know the curfew requirements and passenger restrictions," said Tech. Sgt. Alejandro Torres, 50th Space Wing occupational safety manager.

Torres offered a quick piece of advice for defensive driving.

"Be able to S.E.E. It's an acronym for search, evaluate and execute," he said.

This means to be on the lookout for obstacles, determine how to safely avoid them and then safely carry out your plan.

Outside of inexperience, distracted driving poses a large risk to young drivers.

"Texting and talking would probably be the number one and two things that distract kids these days. It's not the radios anymore; it's playing with their phones," said David Duhe, 50 Wing Staff and CPTS Unit Safety Rep.

"Turn your phone off," he advised. "I know that's the hardest thing for a teenager to do, but turn it off while you're in the car. There is nothing that can't wait ten minutes."

On base, you cannot use cell phones while driving unless they are hands free. On the roads of Colorado the laws are different; however, driving without extra distractions is always the safest.

For more information, contact the Wing Safety office at 567-7233.
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