According to the National Safety Council, 58 percent of teens involved in crashes are distracted.
The Bibb County Sheriff's Office is hoping to reduce that number by offering a free defensive driving class for teenagers.
Our Gabrielle Dawkins spoke to an instructor whose experience with distracted driving hit close to home.
“When they start driving, it's like they put their lives in their own hands and as parents we're just not used to that,” said Teresa Wellmaker.
Wellmaker is a mother of two and a teacher at Douglas County High.
“One of my students was actually paralyzed from another car. A student was texting while driving… that student actually died and ended up hitting another car,” said Wellmaker.
Situations like those are just one of many reasons why instructors like Lt. Chris Dunn at the Bibb County Sheriff's Office stress the importance of driving alert.
“Most of the accidents that we encounter are from distracted drivers,” said Dunn.
He says all you need to sign up for the class is a driver's license and be between the ages of 16 and 20.
Students are put in real-life situations like driving through rain, snow, and even having deer darting across the road while in a simulator.
“I know parents worry that we actually take them out to cars, but we have the closest thing to a car and that is a simulator,” said Dunn.
Students who complete the course don't leave empty handed either. They will receive a completion certificate, and many insurance companies offer discounts if you complete a defensive driving course.
The class dates are July 10-13, July 17-20, and July 24-27. The class runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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