Los Angeles News

Teens get lesson on distracted driving

Monday, October 15, 2012

While driving a Mercedes-Benz may be a cool thing to do for a teenager, the luxury carmaker drove home a point Monday at a National Teen Driver Safety event at Fairfax High School: it's easy to be distracted behind the wheel.

Crystal Barajas, a senior at the high school, drove with an instructor and some of her friends on a course. She said loud music and equally loud passengers were enough to cause her to lose focus while driving.

"It was the worst. Oh my God, I felt like I was driving horribly. I felt like I was knocking so many cones over," Barajas said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens in the U.S.

"Using cellphones, texting, eating or drinking, adjusting a radio or simply talking with friends are all routine activities that teens take part in every day but become life-threatening hazards done behind the wheel," said California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Calvin Aubrey.

Academy Award-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld was at the event to help educate teens on being safer drivers. Steinfeld is 15 years old and currently taking driving classes.

"It leaves an impact on you because you really see what you're putting yourself into if you allow those distractions to affect you," she said.

Parents can be the best role models when it comes to teaching their teens the proper way to be focused while driving.

According to the CDC, a teenage driver is more likely to get into an accident within the first month they get their drivers license.

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