Dublin Villager

Safe-driving habits goal of Teen Driving Roadeo

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Getting behind the wheel is serious business.

Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death among teenagers and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Dublin is hoping to instill a respect of the road at its annual Teen Driving Roadeo Sept. 29.

"We attempt to show them what to do while driving and what not to do," said Walt Buss, a Kiwanis Club member and event organizer.

"Our goal really is to save teen lives," he said.

The event, held at Ashland Inc., 5200 Blazer Parkway, works to give teens more experience behind the wheel through the use of education and interactive demonstrations.

Teens can run through a maneuverability course and learn defensive driving in the "skid car."

"We cover texting and driving, talking on a telephone while driving," Buss said.

"We actually have five stations where they can do some driving and stations that hand out literature or have demonstrations on what they ought to be doing -- or not doing."

Emergency situations are covered with a Jaws of Life extraction, "fatal vision" goggles and a learning station about what to do if involved in a car accident. First-aid is also taught.

"We have police there and the fire department there and we're hoping to instill upon them the fact that it is very serious and what they should be doing and shouldn't be doing as a new driver," Buss said.

Stations also cover the use of jumper cables, how to check oil and fluids and how to change a tire.

Driving awareness education covers roundabouts, high-accident areas, left-turn lanes, what to do at stop lights when the power is out, entrance and exit ramp procedures, deer vehicle safety, school bus rules and wildlife injuries on the road.

The Teen Driving Roadeo started in Dublin in 2007. Participation has climbed from 55 to nearly 200 last year.

"(Feedback) has almost overwhelmingly been positive comments from parents," Buss said. "A lot of the reason teens sign up is parents want them to sign up."

The event is planning for 200 this year; teen drivers come from all over the area.

"We get (teens) from all over central Ohio," Buss said.

"I would say probably at least half or the majority are Dublin, but we've gotten them from Columbus, Hilliard and other suburbs."

A driver's license or permit and proof of insurance are required to attend the Teen Driving Roadeo.

The Sept. 29 event is divided into two sessions at noon and 2 p.m. to get participants through demonstrations without waiting too long.

The event is free, but registration is required and can be completed online at teendrivingroadeo.com.

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