Poplarville students learn driving skills for life

POPLARVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among teens in America, accounting for about 5,000 deaths a year. The Ford Motor Company hopes to reduce that number with a traveling training course. Thursday, the tour made a stop at Poplarville High School.

"Driving Skills for Life is an award winning teen safe driving program the Ford fund has put together," said Chief Instructor Randy Bleicher. "We're traveling around to 30 cities and 15 different states this year."

The program teaches young drivers important lessons in a way they'll never forget. The Ford skid car, for instance, shows exactly what to do if you lose control of a vehicle.

"If you hit your breaks, then you're probably just going to skid even more," said Chelsey Barrett, a senior at Poplarville High.

Another lesson addresses texting while driving.

"Texting and driving. Yes, it's hard. It's a distraction. But I only knocked over three cones through out the six laps that I did," senior Phillip Travis said.

Travis said he knows texting and driving can be a deadly combination.

Melanie Hall put on a pair of goggles to learn about driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The goggles allow the students to see what it feels like to drive drunk. It's a lesson no one needs to learn the hard way.

"I learned not to drink and drive, defiantly," Hall said. "I don't want to hit any small children on the road or anything."

Mississippi's First Lady Marsha Barbour also spoke to students about safe driving.

For teen drivers who won't get to experience the driver safety course, Ford offers an hour long online course. Just visit https://www.drivingskillsforlife.com/ to learn more.

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