15 to 19
year olds account for 6.5% of all drivers on the road, an average of 6.4 teens
between the ages of 16 and 19 are killed every day from motor vehicle injuries.
That’s 2364 teenagers dead and 300,000 treated for injuries every year as well.
Cabarrus County has some numbers of its own.
County has one of the highest incidence rates for crashes involving young
drivers in 2017. There were about 1390 crashes that involved a youth driver and
this was actually an increase of 34%. Cabarrus County also ranks 11th out of
100 counties we have in North Carolina for youth involved crashes and 80 out of
100 for fatalities associated with youth drivers.
week we’re taking on the very important topic of safe teen driving with people
from the Keys Program, a safe driving initiative through the Cabarrus Health
Alliance, as well as the Brakes Program, an organization that is teaching
defensive driving and how to avoid accidents to young drivers. If you have a
teen driver, or are getting ready to have one, you don’t want to miss this
episode. This is Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine a presentation of CabCo Media
Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage for Cabarrus Arena and Event
Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Cabarrus Health Alliance, Concord Downtown
Development Corporation, Level Up Realty, New Hope Worship Center and Walk
Cabarrus. I’m your host Jason Huddle. Hello my friends and welcome once again to
another episode of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine, Episode 71 I am your host
Jason Huddle and we are talking today about safe teen driving. I have gone
through this myself I’m getting ready to go through it again and I have another
driver a few years down the road coming up as well. So this is an important
topic to me and I know what it is to you if you have a teen driver, know a teen
driver. You know how dangerous the roads are. And people are no respecters of
age when it comes to driving stupid cutting people off, they don’t pay
attention to who they are doing this to and people with less experience the
results can prove disastrous. So we are bringing in today Asma Warrich from the
Cabarrus Health Alliance. She’s heading up the Keys Program. She’s going to
tell you all about that. And also Doug Herbert who himself lost his two sons in
an auto accident a few years ago and that inspired him to start the Breaks
Program which is a nonprofit, defensive driving program for teens. So we’re
going to tell you all about that stuff coming up in this episode. But first, of
course, we have shameless plug time. First, allow me to give you a little
disclaimer. Last week, I talked about our program being available now on the
Amazon Echo devices. That is true. But there’s a few more steps that you have
to go through. We are available through the Intune app. So what you have to do
is you have to go on to your Amazon Alexa app, go in and enable the Intune app
and then you should be able to call up our podcast. So if you were looking for
the podcast last week and couldn’t find it that way. Now you know how to access
it. Also, I forgot to mention last week that the August edition of Cabarrus
Magazine is online and in stands if you have not received that, please make
sure you do that by checking out a where to find this tab on Cabarrus Magazine
dot com. You can read the magazine online or you can go get a copy and if you
want it delivered to your house, you can always go to Cabarrus Magazine dot com
click on the subscribe now button and get the magazine delivered to you for a
bargain basement price of $36 per year and that is today’s shameless plug time.
Asma Warrich with the Cabarrus Health Alliance and Keys Initiative is up next
after the break stick around.
back to the program. We are talking this week about safe driving for teens. And
I am pleased to have on the line with me, Asam Warrich. She is with the
Cabarrus Health Alliance and is in charge of the keys program initiative. If
you’ve been listening to the program today, you probably caught the commercial
during the break for the Keys Program and I brought on Asma to talk a little
bit more about it. So first of all, Asma thank you so much for being on the
you, Jason. It’s an honor to be invited on.
tell us about the Keys Program. What exactly is it? And why did the CHA feel
like it was necessary to get involved with this?
course. So I’ll just start with what the Keys Program is. So Keys basically
stands for keeping every youth safe. And it’s the safe driving initiatives we
have in Cabarrus County. We are currently in the second year of the initiative
and we’re looking looking to reduce the incidence of young driver related
serious injuries, crashes and rates of impaired driving in Cabarrus County. So
we’re funded through the Department of Transportation, but as Jason mentioned,
we`re housed at Cabarrus Health Alliance and we’ve actually, at this point been
able to work with all of our traditional public high schools in the county so
far, which is awesome. And we’re looking to move into non traditional setting
for this third year, but our program has several components. We release monthly
newsletters to both parents in the county who have children out of 10 high
schools and also a lot of our media partners. We do yearly trainings for our
driver instructors in Cabarrus. County. We created a whole toolkit that
supplements the curriculum that they’re already getting as well. We do school
events so we have a lot of lunchtime events. We do the don’t text and drive
pledge during lunchtime. We bring in national speakers who’ve had personal
experiences. with young driver related crashes, we do staging events. I think
last year, a few of our schools, we brought in actual cars from the junkyard of
cars that had been involved in youth related driving accidents. And then we
also have driving simulators at all of our high schools in the county so kids
can just pop in, I think they’re located in the media center, and test out some
of their driving skills and we do our Instagram page. Feel free to follow us at
elevate yourself trail on Instagram. We have a lot of cool content on there.
And then finally, just working with our community partners in Cabarrus County
to promote our five to drive campaign and if you’ve been listening to our
commercial on it just promotes driving with no cell phones, no extra passengers
no speeding, no alcohol obviously in wearing your seatbelt, regardless of if
you’re in the front or back See? So that’s just really an overview of what our
program is about. And to answer your second question, Jason, why we brought
this program into the county. So it was around 2017, we were just looking at
what new program we could bring into the county what needs we were seeing and
we found some astounding statistics related to use driving and I’ll just go
through some of them with you. So um compared to other counties in North
Carolina Cabarrus County has one of the highest incidence rates for crashes
involving young drivers in 2017. There were about 1390 crashes that involved a
youth driver and this was actually an increase of 34% from the last time they
looked at it, which was in 2013. So obviously we were like, okay, this is
astounding information. We need to do something about it. Cabarrus County also
ranks 11th out of 100 counties we have in North Carolina, for use involve
crashing and 18 out of 100 fatalities associated with youth drivers. Also it
doesn’t help that we border Mecklenburg County. So we see a lot of things fall
into our county because of that. Mecklenburg County actually ranks second out
of 100 in both fatalities involving youth drivers and crashes involving youth
drivers. So we have..
based on numbers or percentages?
are, based on straight numbers of fatalities.
still, I mean, obviously, one, one teenager, one young life loss due to a
driving accident, no matter reason is too many for sure.
so how are you guys getting this initiative out? Obviously, you’re your partner
with with us and we’re pleased to do that. But how else are you guys getting
the message out for teenagers to drive safe? I know you talked about bringing
in some cars that have been been involved with youth involved in accidents were
some other things.
We’re also inviting we’ve been inviting National Speakers who’ve had personal
experience to come in. And we’ve been holding school assemblies with a lot of
our high schools. With these national speakers. It’s, I think, very different.
Someone’s telling you, Hey, don’t text and drive. But when you have a parent
who’s lost a child, from texting and driving, and then really sharing their
personal experiences and on how that’s affected them, I think that’s a hits
home more so than just verbally trying to explain to your child, hey, don’t do
this. And we’re also we do like the don’t text and drive pledges during
lunchtime and try to get a lot of kids involved in that as well. And then we do
crash simulators. So there’s actually a company based out of high point that
we’ve been working with, and so we bring in the kids and they actually are able
to sort of experience what it feels like to be involved in a crash, like
pressure and all of that. So We try to get as hands on as we can with the kids
I think the texting and driving that’s got to be at the top of the list as far
as causes. Now, I have no scientific numbers in front of me to tell you that.
But I think that’s got to be at the top. And the sad thing is I see parents on
the road every day, setting the example, by texting and driving, I can see him
doing it. I see parents with their kids in tow. You know, we’ve been all over
the road or not paying attention and having to slam on brakes. I see it almost
every day where they’re texting and driving at the same time. And I think we
have to do better as as adults right to set the example for our kids.
and with texting and driving get it is a form of impaired driving in my
opinion. I feel like we always jump to hates alcohol and some sort of drug use
right as a form of impaired driving. But right now, texting and driving is also
considered a form of impaired driving as it driving while being sleepy.
as bad as you being intoxicated or on something. So, with all the advances in
technology, we’re definitely seeing that being a humongous issue. I mean,
Jason, how many times have you been at a stoplight? And it’s turned green and
no one’s moving.
everday and I’m always the second car like I’m never the right. I won’t go down
that rabbit trail. But yeah, it’s exactly right. And you realize when you when
you finally do get going, and you get to go around that car and you kind of
glance over and yep, they’re on their phone. That’s why they didn’t see the
green light and that can go that can go bad really fast. You know, what if they
don’t see the red light, and they keep going through the intersection? You
know, that can be disastrous.
sure. One of our National Speakers. His name is Joel Feldman, and he’s huge in
the don’t text and drive initiative. That’s happening nationwide right now and
he actually lost his daughter, because there was a young driver who was texting
and missed the stop sign. And his daughter was walking across the road when it
happened. So it’s so dangerous. It starts with the parents setting a great
example on when they’re driving to not use their phone and put the phone down.
I saw a
powerful demonstration one time and it had these parents with these big poster
boards of their children’s last text before they were killed in an accident.
And we get the thought in our head that well, if I’m just texting Kay, or, you
know, something very short, it’s okay to do that. Right. But most of these
signs were very short one was a K or on my way, or something very, very brief.
And that was their last text and they were killed. Literally within seconds of
sending that text, casue they didnt slow down or they didn’t see a stop sign.
As you mentioned, something happened. So it was impactful on me to be conscious
of that, not only when my children are in the car, but anytime, because now
they’re counting on us to right.
And I feel like most of us nowadays have the ability of you can program them
where when you’re driving, anyone who texts you, they get a text back where
that just lets them know, Hey, I can’t pick up the phone right now I’m driving,
but I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. So there’s definitely a lot of
ways around it.
Asma I appreciate you being on the program today. Once again, if people want to
get more information on the program, please tell us where they can go.
obviously, you can go to our Cabarrus Health Alliance website and just look for
the Keys Program there. We also do a monthly newsletters right now they’re
focused with the parents, but if you want to be added onto our listserv, just
reach out to me. My contact information Asma spelled a s m a dot Warrich at
Cabarrushealth.org. And if you’re interested in any of our initiatives or
looking at any of our materials, just feel free to reach out to me and I am
more than happy to share that with you.
We’ll put all that in the show notes as well for you guys, as well watch with
the Cabarrus Health Alliance and Keys Program initiative. Thank you so much for
being on the program today.
you guys stay tuned. We’ll be back with Doug Herbert from the breaks program in
just a moment.
back to the program. We are joined now via zoom from the salt flats in Utah, by
Doug Herbert. He is the owner and founder of the Breaks organization. First of
all, Doug, thank you so much for coming on the program today.
yeah, I’m the founder of Breaks is a (inaudiable). So I’m not actually an
owner, the, you know, charity is owned by all of our all of our supporters,
really, but we’re thankful to be involved and happy to be in Cabarrus County,
are so appreciative of you as well, Doug, for those of you that aren’t familiar
with the Brakes Program, Brakes is a great organization. Basically, they teach
defensive driving and survival techniques like teach teenagers how to get out
of a spin, how to react quickly driving techniques. And this organization was
actually born out of tragedy. Doug lost his sons in a terrible accident in
which they did they lose control of the car because of speed, is that correct?
Doug Herbert 19:14
mean, you know, speed and inexperience they were, you know, young, the 17 year
old, my son John that was driving and was driving too fast and lost control of
the car. And unfortunately, he and his brother, my other son, James, they both lost
their life in that car crash. And so that prompted me to try and do something
to make a difference and, and teach some teenagers, you know, some skills and
hopefully get them to understand the dangers of driving and the responsibility
that they need to take when they get behind the wheel of the guard to be safe
and responsible driving the car because I don’t want another parent to get that
phone call that I got that their teenager is not coming home due to a car
Well, let me tell you, tell you a little story. That will, I will hope will
encourage you a little bit more. I’m sure you’ve heard stories like this
before, but my son, my oldest son went through the Brakes program several years
ago. He’s almost 21 now but before right before he got his license, he went to
the Brakes program. And not too long after he got his license and his car you
get that call that says, the first thing you hear is I’m okay.
that’s always a horrible thing to hear. In that you know that something bad is
coming next but you’re glad they’re okay. At any rate, my son called me he said
my tire blew out on the highway. I’m okay the cars okay, but I you know, I need
you to come and help me out. And it turned out he was only about a two miles
from home. He was on highway 49. And his tire had completely shredded like
there was almost nothing left of it. And he had but because he had been through
the brakes program, he knew how to maintain control of the car and was able to
get it off of the busy highway safely. So there was no harm to him no harm to
the car. And I attribute that completely to the Brakes program. So thank you
very much for that.
that’s great to hear. That makes me happy. I’m glad.
tell us a little bit more about what teenagers can expect when they come to
spend the day with you guys at breaks.
the program is a half a day, you know, the programs only a half a day so they
don’t have to devote a lot of time to it. And like I said, the things are gonna
learn are life saving skills. It’s a matter of all we developed our curriculum
based on the leading causes of car crashes. We work with the state troopers, North
Carolina we work with, you know that I highway patrol there obviously, we work
with University of North Carolina, UNC UNCC and Dr. Paul Friday over there to
help us develop the curriculum and the driving exercises, you know, that are
going to improve the skills of these teenagers and teach them something. So the
number one cause of fatal car crashes. Actually, in most rural states, North
Carolina is one that falls in that category is wheel drop off so they drop the
wheel on the side of the road, is that due to distraction or whatever doesn’t
matter. Everybody’s done that you drop the wheel on the side. Right, and then
overcorrecting. That’s the number one cause and so we have a wheel drop
exercise, all the folks over the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Smith family
has been very nice and letting us use that facility for the last 12 years to
train teenagers so that, you know, we’ve trained over 50,000 teenagers all
around the country. So, really, really been impactful. And according to
university, North Carolina, the teenagers that have been through the program,
and you know, from having your son, the seniors that have been through having
the program are 64% less likely to be involved in a car crash. So that’s really
impactful to me, but to go on about what we do. So it’s a it’s distraction, we
have a distraction, besides teaching teenagers about the dangers of driving
distracted. You know, when you’re driving the car, you’ve got to pay attention
to driving the car not talking on the phone or messing with the radio or GPS or
whatever. So That’s pretty important. We do that we do an emergency lane change
exercise, which be simulating, having a kid on a bike come on front of you, or
having a car change lanes into you that doesn’t see you, something like that.
We also do a panic stopping exercise to teach teenagers about the analog
braking system and how it works and how you’re supposed to operate vehicle with
that. We also put the special tires on the car to simulate icy and slick road
conditions to teach the teenagers about, you know what to do in case of bad
weather. Like, how can you drive on an icy road? Well, really, you don’t drive,
it’s ice, you can’t drive you don’t have any control. So we’re teaching them
all these things. And actually, part of the neat thing is we bring the parents
with as you came and then found out, but a lot of times some of the biggest aha
moments are with the parents, you know, because like when I took Driver’s Ed,
in the center of the steering wheel, it was a horn but you know, and now it’s
an airbag that comes out at 200 miles per hour. So things have changed a lot
for the parents and some of the biggest aha moments a lot of times are with the
parents. So it’s it’s a really it’s just neat bonding experience, it’s a really
good therapy for me, I enjoy seeing the change that happens in these teenagers
when they come for just a few hours that they spend with us. The instructors
that we have are absolutely incredible. They’re who I would want to teach my
teenagers and that to me have the to do the instruction and they do neat things
like teach the drivers for the Secret Service, how to drag the president around
safely. So I mean, they’re really really qualified, awesome instructors. And
we’re just really fortunate to have such a great team to be able to come out
there and teach the teenager some licensing skills.
about aha moments, I had my own aha moment. We brought my son they they taught
us the how to adjust the mirrors you know, we’ve always been taught to adjust
the mirrors in, they taught us how to adjust the mirrors on our on our cars so
that there’s no blind spot. You know, here I’ve been driving forever and I
didn’t realize that you could do that. I always thought just a blind spot with
partial part of life and now I don’t have a blind spot my car it’s it’s
a little getting used to, doesn’t it? But once you do. It’s like wow.
it’s like a whole new world of driving. And I have done the I did the emergency
lane. They let the they let the parents by the way, do some of the exercises.
Not all of them, but some of the exercises and I did the emergency lane change
and the panic break.
it was very eye opening. It’s It’s It’s intense. I’ll be honest with you. It’s
intense, but it was a it was very good for him. The coolest thing though, is
the spin out where you guys put basically the huge big wheel tires on the back
of the cars and and causes the cars spin out at like 14 miles an hour or
something like that.
it’s like driving a ice.
them how to get out of the spin though, which is incredible.
avoid one hopefully, if they do get everyone how to get out of it.
for sure. So, Doug real quick before I let you go, how can people get involved
with Breaks or where can they find you guys in order to get there their child’s
love to have parents sign up. We always are needing volunteers to help us
either at the office or at the program classes. But the best place to get a
hold of us find out more information is on the website, which is put on the
brakes dot o r g. So put on the brakes. org, go there. There’s videos, there’s
all kinds of information. It’s a wealth of information resource for what we’re
Herbert with Breaks. Thank you so much for being on the program today. Have fun
out there in the salt flats racing on the salt flats today. What a day, its a
good day to do it, it looks beautiful.
telling you it is. I can just you’ve never seen anything like it. It’s just as
far as you can see, this is probably one of the only places on earth where you
can actually see the curve of the earth. It’s just such a huge area. It’s
unbelievable, so yeah, really neat. Happy to happy to have a wonderful place
like this in the United States that we can go and visit and come out racecars.
have fun with that incredible view and we hope to talk to you more when you get
back to this county. You guys have a great day. Thank you Doug.
this episode might have seen out of left field we’ve been talking a lot about
COVID. We didn’t have the Panthers preview episode, we’ve been talking about
the schools. But there are other problems besides COVID-19. There are other
issues besides the presidential election, things that hit us much more closer
to home than who’s in the White House, or when we’ll go back to school, and
that is teen driving safety. Without people like Asma and Doug, in our
communities, helping to teach kids how to drive safely. Our numbers could be a
lot worse. And I urge you guys, if you have a young driver that’s coming up or
is just getting their license, please stress to them the importance of of not
texting and driving, of defensive driving techniques of making sure that they
get home safely. We’ve all been there we were all 16, 10 foot tall and
bulletproof. But unfortunately I even had some classmates in my school that
never saw graduation because of an auto accident. That being said, I hope you
have gotten a lot from this episode. We will be putting all the links in our
show notes so you can get connected with both organizations if you wish. Until
next week, You have been listening to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine, a
presentation of CabCo Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group,
Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Cabarrus Health
Alliance, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Level Up Realty, New Hope
Worship Center, and Walk Cabarrus. I’ve been your host Jason Huddle. Until next
week. Hug those teens tight y’all.