(WSPA) – The week of October 20th, according to AAA Carolinas, is National School Bus Safety Week. Additionally, the Southeastern Chapter of the National Safety Council (SNCSC) recognized it as National Teen Driver Safety Week.
For both weeks, the main focus, is safety on the roads. State Farm sponsored a free statewide tour of the SNCSC Distracted Driver Simulator.
The driver’s education classes at Chapman High School drove the simulator.
Sophomore Moriah Harris said the simulator definitely taught her a few things.
“It shows you like different things that you wouldn’t think of. Like, if I was driving, I wouldn’t think to look to like the right, and look at cars that are like, backing onto the road,” Harris said.
Chapman’s driver’s education teacher Kevin Carr said the best part of the simulator is the versatility in teaching.
“They get to go through these things, such as snow, and other things that we may not get to do,” Carr said. “To get in an actual car and simulate a driving situation that I can’t do with them, when we’re out driving literally everyday.”
State Farm Agent Chad Wagner said the joint effort between State Farm and the council is one that can only increase education.
“Bringing awareness to teenage drivers about distracted driving. All agencies in this area have come out today to support the National Safety Council, to bring more awareness,” Wagner said.
SNCSC’s Taylor Harrison and Melissa Reck guided the students using the simulator. Harrison said the council does a lot of classroom work, but this tool, a real car, helps the students even more.
“To have something hands on that we can bring out and remind the students why distractions are dangerous behind the wheel,” said Harrison. “It just gives them a strong reminder and a good take away that they can remember and hang onto.”
Reck agreed the simulation is fun, but said there is a reality everyone needs to face.
“Traffic crashes are the leading cause of people in the 15 to 24 year old age group. Also, that approximately, one-third of all collisions in that age group involve some sort of a distraction,” Reck said.
While the week of October 20th seems to be targeted at school age kids and teens, Greenville County School District’s Beth Brotherton said it affects everyone.
“Because of the cargo on board, there is never a bad time to remind people that it’s important to watch out for the buses and to slow down,” Brotherton said.
Greenville County School District dealt with a driver rear ending one of their school buses on Woodruff Road back in September.
“You would expect people to already be slowing down and paying more attention and yet…,” Brotherton said.
Data from the Greenville County School District found schools bus, on average, more than 26,000 students. Drivers average more than 39,000 miles daily.
Therefore, safety is top of mind for everyone.
For more information about the SNCSC Distracted Driver Simulator, click here.