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High school program helps limit bad behavior

Since 2007, the Alive at 25 program focused on lowering high-risk behavior by educating Utah's youth as to the consequences their activities and behaviors while driving may have. While it is no surprise that certain things like distracted driving and texting while driving can cause serious accidents, injuries and even death, it may be surprising to know just how great the impact one program can have.

Created by the National Safety Council, the Alive at 25 program is aimed at drivers ages 15 to 24 years old. Although there is a parent course, the 4-hour program was almost exclusively offered to Utah high schools and through the Utah court system. The program focuses on risk identification and how certain driving behaviors can have life-altering implications. Through video participation and role playing techniques, the Alive at 25 program tries to make teen drivers respect their new privilege and understand their new responsibility.

According to the Utah Safety Council, car crashes are the number one cause of death for drivers ages 15 to 24 in Utah. While the focus of the Alive at 25 program is all on behind-the-wheel behaviors of teens, there are additional resources offered regarding speeding, following too closely and cellphone use while driving.

It is because of the huge success and impact the Alive at 25 program has had in Colorado that it was adapted in Utah. Since 1999 car accident fatalities of Colorado teens has dropped each year. In Utah, a reported 99 percent of Alive at 25 graduates say the course will help them be a safer driver. This is good news for parents and even better news for other drivers.

While the Alive at 25 program is successful, it is not 100 percent effective in preventing teen driving accidents. For some teens, the habits they learn as new drivers stick with them for life, even the negligent ones. For fellow drivers, that means risk on the road and possibly serious injuries. If you have been injured by a distracted or negligent driver, speaking to a personal injury attorney may help.

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