Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers according to the CDC. That’s why Ford is teaming up with the Office of Highway Safety planning to empower teens to make a change.
Students at Clarkston High School are taking action to help their classmates create safer driving habits.
“We strive to make people more aware of the dangers of driving and how it can impact others as well because a lot of the time students don’t realize, they think it’s their decision or it will only impact them or it won’t happen to them,” Senior Sebastian Salcedo said.
Salcedo and his classmates are not afraid to speak up.
“We try to go around and spread the word about safer driving,” Sophomore Emily Walters said, “So no texting while driving, no distractions while driving to eliminate crashes and everything.”
Strive for a Safer Drive is a statewide high school student-led safe-driving initiative.
“We meet once a week after school to talk about our campaign, what we’re going to do, spread the word and everything,” Walters said.
Up to 60 schools receive a $1,000 grant to create a safety awareness campaign and compete with the other schools across the state. In Clarkston, students decided to appeal to younger students.
“At the junior high, its 8th and 9th graders, when they first start driving so we actually took our group over there and did a bunch of activities with goggles and concussion goggles and how bad drinking and driving and distracted driving is,” Walters said.
It was just one of the school year full of safe driving events that landed Clarkston High School first place in the strive for a safer drive competition.
The prize? A Ford ride and drive with professional driving instructors.
“My favorite part was drifting mustangs and learning how to come out of something, I had a bunch of fun last year, it was awesome,” Salcedo said.
Creating a lifelong and lifesaving impact on young drivers.
“I joined this club just to make a difference and I didn’t expect to win or anything but having the win also while making a difference made my perspective on what I’m doing is actually important to people and I can change anyone’s mind about what they’re believing for the better good,” Senior Maya Gonzealez said.
Schools can still participate in Strive for a Safer Drive, the deadline for applications is Friday. You can apply at Michigan.gov/s4sd.