MILWAUKEE (5/14/2013) - Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of teen deaths and injuries. Research shows that many crashes start with a distraction.
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Health has teamed up with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), Bureau of Traffic Safety and State Farm® to provide teen traffic safety programs throughout the state. They will kick off their efforts on Thursday, May 16, at Wausau West High School where, throughout the school day, teens will get to spend a few minutes simulating the task of texting while driving, using a real car and the latest computer technology.
A press conference will be held 10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., Thursday, May 16, at Wausau West High School, 1200 W. Wausau Ave., Wausau, Wis., to announce the first move toward coordinated teen traffic safety initiatives at a statewide level.
Scheduled to speak:
- Deena Liska, Motor Vehicle Safety Coordinator, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Health
- Sgt. Carrie Johnson, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Division of State Patrol
- Kelly Savage, Public Affairs Specialist, State Farm
- Safety Officer Maureen Pilsner, Wausau Police Department
- Teen driver, Wausau West High School Student
Media are invited to take a test drive in the simulator upon the conclusion of the press conference. Event and parking outside on the NE side of the building.
"Our overall goal is to improve safety for teen drivers and passengers in Wisconsin by coordinating current and future efforts throughout the state," said Deena Liska. "Distracted driving is a huge problem for all drivers. We are grateful for the funding and support from the State of Wisconsin and State Farm and we are proud of champions in the community who are leading the state in the area of teen driving safety education."
The Wausau Police Department conducted fundraising to purchase the simulators after it recognized a need for more education about distracted driving. "Too many of our teen drivers are getting hurt as a result of distracted driving - eating, drinking, texting and programming the satellite radio," said Pilsner.
"State Farm agents and associates have always recognized and participated in giving back to the communities where they live and work," said Savage. "Helping to build safer, stronger and better educated communities is critically important and we appreciate that Wausau West High School chose to spotlight important driving issues."
"Every time you drive, you are legally and morally responsible for safely operating a potentially destructive and even deadly force," said State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "That's why driving requires your undivided attention. Any lapse in attention to traffic or road conditions is a grave danger to you, your passengers and everyone else on the road. No attempt to multitask in your vehicle, no phone call and no text message is more important than a human life."
About Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Health is a member of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, the region's only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. The hospital, with locations in Milwaukee and Neenah, Wis., is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States and is ranked No. 4 in the nation by Parents magazine. Children's Hospital
provides primary care, specialty care, urgent care, emergency care, community health services, foster and adoption services, child and family counseling, child advocacy services and family resource centers. In 2011, Children's Hospital invested more than $100 million in the community to improve the health status of children through medical care, advocacy, education and pediatric medical research. Children's Hospital achieves its mission in part through donations from individuals, corporations and foundations and is proud to be a member of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. For more information about teen driving safety visit, crossroadsteendriving.org.
About State Farm
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.
About the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Bureau of Traffic Safety
The WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety focuses on traffic safety programs and safety policy analysis, carries out public outreach on traffic safety issues, administers the statewide chemical testing program, oversees motor carrier safety and weight facilities (SWEFs), inspects and regulates motor carriers, school buses and ambulances.