LOS ANGELES, Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy (MBDA), a California DMV-certified teen driving school, joined forces with Impact Teen Drivers, California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles Police Department to support National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 20-26, 2013. The annual event helps promote teen driver safety with a focus on distracted-free driving, seat belt use, reducing teens' access to alcohol and parental involvement.
Northridge Academy High School hosted events to highlight safe teen driving behaviors, including a press conference and a distracted driving demonstration by Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy. The number one cause of death amongst teens ages 15-20 is a car crash, according to the Centers for Disease Control. National averages show that teens are most likely to have a significant crash in their first year of driving, four-times higher than an adult or experienced driver.
Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy partnered with two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas to help kick-off National Teen Driver Safety Week activities and raise awareness around teen driver safety. Douglas, 17, currently has her driver's permit and is enrolling in the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy driver education and training programs. "I'm taking my driving lessons as seriously as my Olympic training," said Douglas. "I know that it will take a lot of practice behind-the-wheel, especially driving in big cities. I also feel strongly about encouraging my friends and family to not text and drive."
"Teen Driver Safety Week gives us an opportunity to raise awareness and educate both teens and parents about how we can help prevent tragedies behind-the-wheel," said Carolyn Duchene, director of Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy. "It could be as simple as parents actively participating in their teen's driver education and training with more supervised driving experience and learning how parents can model their own driving behavior."
"Parents have a significant influence on their teens' driving behaviors," said John Ulczycki, vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Safety Council. "It is important for parents to drive the way they want their teens to drive, and parents need to stay involved. Parents can use National Teen Driver Safety Week to renew their commitment to coaching their teens and spend a little extra time riding along as their teens practice."
According to a recent report, 18- and 19- year-old driver fatal crash rates are higher in California and nationally after Graduated Driver License (GDL) programs were enacted. One explanation is that teens are simply waiting until they are 18 years old when the GDL no longer applies to them.
"The statistics are clear that even if teens are waiting until they are 18 or 19 years old to get their license, they still need proper driver training and enough time behind the wheel," said California Highway Patrol Officer Leland Tang.
For more information on Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy or any of the activities mentioned above, visit www.mbdrivingacademy.com or call 888-MBDA-USA.
About Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy
Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy opened in Los Angeles in November 2011 and is the first international teen driving school. Mercedes-Benz is the only automotive manufacturer to operate a state-certified driver education program in the United States.
Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy features a customized curriculum involving a highly interactive, participatory system of key tactical on-line and classroom components in conjunction with on-road training. The school's highly effective coaching-method and unique offerings, including a closed course distracted driving demonstration, aims to improve better decision-making behind the wheel and develop safer drivers for life. More information on Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy can be found at www.mb-drivingacademy.com and www.facebook.com/MBDrivingAcademyUSA.
About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 14 model lines ranging from the CLA-Class four-door coupe to the flagship S-Class sedan and the SLS AMG GT supercar.
MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans and smart in the US. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com, www.mbsprinterusa.com and www.smartusa.com
SOURCE Mercedes-Benz USA