Scott: Does this look familiar? Sixteen-year-old Zach Testa is trying to focus on the road but his friends aren’t making it easy. They are part of a distracted driving course put on by the California Highway Patrol.
“Yeah, I was a little bit scared and, like, you kind of, like, lose your focus with every one talking and all the distractions.”
Scott: You hear plenty about texting while driving but there is another deadly risk: talking while driving.
The AAA’s Foundation for Public Safety found the chances of a crash for teen drivers increases 44% with a passenger under 21. Add a second passenger, the risk doubles. With three or more passengers, the chance of a crash quadruples.
This situation was fake but the risk is all too real.
“I wish just one more time I could tell him, ‘I love you, Donovan.’ And I could hear him respond, ‘I love you too, mom.
Scott: Martha Tessmer’s son Donovan was in a car with four other teens. The driver lost control. Her son was killed.
“There were no drugs and no drinking, just carried away with distractions and chaos, the music blasting, laughing, joking wrestling around in the backseat.”
Scott: Martha now talks to teens through the Impact Teen Drivers Program, reminding them crashes are the number one killer of teens.
For Zach, it is a message heard loud and clear.
Zach: This is a really important lesson to make sure you don’t drive while you’re distracted because you could really hurt yourself or other people.
Scott: Scott Evans, Channel One News.