Teens Take a Stand Against Dangerous Driving

Filed under: Schools |

With car accidents as the number one cause of teenage deaths in America, two Duncanville High School students are getting in the driver’s seat to decrease that statistic. Juniors Chase Apperson and Emilu Mata are members of the 2012-13 Teen Advisory Board with the Teens in the Driver’s Seat program. Based at Texas A&M University, Teens in the Driver’s Seat partners with the Texas Department of Transportation, Georgia Department of Transportation, California Office of Traffic Safety, State Farm Insurance, Houston-Galveston Area Council, and the Texas Transportation Institute to bring awareness to young adults about dangerous driving habits.

Chase Apperson

The first DHS students on the Teen Advisory Board, Apperson and Mata found out about the program at a Student Council conference this spring. “My friend from Creekview High School told us how his school was involved,” Apperson explained. “After the conference, we were really interested, encouraged, and decided that it would be a great program to get Duncanville involved in.” After filling out applications in March, Board members were notified of their acceptance in April.

As two of 23 students on the 2012-13 Teen Advisory Board, Apperson and Mata will make decisions that may potentially impact high schools across the state. They attended their first Board meeting at the beginning of May, where members discussed ideas to raise awareness among peers. “Teens in the Driver’s Seat asked us what we thought about organizing a memorial for all Texas teenagers killed in accidents,” said Mata. “We also talked about book covers and gave feedback on the program’s YouTube videos.” Three more meetings are scheduled during Apperson and Mata’s term. They will also use the knowledge they gain in Austin to impact their peers at home.

Emilu Mata

As members of the DHS Student Council, Apperson and Mata are both involved in the organization’s Drugs, Alcohol, Safety, and Health (DASH) committee. “We want students to stay alert of the dangers around them,” said Mata. “Don’t set a bad example.” Both also believe that cell phone use is the biggest driving danger for teenagers. “Not even Siri can save you!” joked Apperson. “I don’t think teens realize how dangerous it is to text or be on the phone while driving. We think we can do anything.”

With a goal of decreasing the number of teenage driving deaths, the Teen Advisory Board encourages all students to take the Teens in the Driver’s Seat Safety Pledge:

I make this pledge, both bold and brave, so someone’s life I will help to save.
Watch my speed, stay awake, and know the difference a drink can make.
Buckle up and avoid distractions – like texting, cell phones – such deadly actions. Golden rules, simply five, strive to keep our drive alive.