By Abbie Petersen
OMAHA, Nebraska (KETV) — 2022 was a deadly year on Nebraska roads with traffic fatalities hitting a 15-year high.
And driving instructors want to make sure your teenagers know the risks when getting behind the wheel.
The owner of the Cornhusker Driving School says throughout the years, he’s noticed that the number of fatal crashes continues to increase.
So the work he is doing is more important to him than ever before.
Two hundred fifty-four lives were lost on Nebraska roads in 2022. Thirty-three more than 2021.
As a class at Cornhusker Driving School gets ready to take the roads owner Pat Venditte hopes to teach these teens how to get to their destination safely.
“With their cognitive being employed at all times, it’s going to reduce and mitigate the number of car crashes that they might experience in our lifetime,” said Venditte.
According to recent data by N-DOT, 1 in 10 drivers are not looking where they are driving, instead on a cellphone or another device.
Venditte says every student in the Sunday class said their parent uses the phone while behind the wheel and teens typically mimic their parents driving.
“We can trump what mom and dad do behind the wheel of the car. I think once they see myriad of the car crashes that ensue with the use of the cellphone I think it makes a lasting impression on their future, driving,” Venditte said.
That impression was one left by student Ryan Putman.
“Makes me take it serious. I’m not going to mess around,” Putman said.
But distracted driving isn’t the only thing attributing to fatalities.
At 40 mph, 10 mph slower than the average rollover crash, the Cornhusker Driving School shows students what can happen if you get in a rollover accident without a seat belt.
According to N-DOT in 2020, 78-% of the 18 teen traffic fatalities were not wearing seat belts.
“Remember, stay the speed limit. Stay off the phone. They just they just have to see it to be able to to follow suit,” said instructor Anna Diederich.
Venditte and Diedrich say this is just simple things that could save you or someone else’s life.
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