Commack students host program to prevent distracted, reckless driving
A group of Commack students showed their peers how to steer clear of distracted and reckless driving Wednesday during a safe driving program.
This week marks the start of the 100 deadliest days of summer -- the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It's when teens are at the highest risk for deadly crashes.
Commack High School student Katerina Volonakis says her cousin died in a car accident that involved reckless driving. Volonakis's cousin Kyra Gasparis was a passenger in a friend's car when she was killed in July 2020. She says the driver was sleeping and hit a tree.
Volonakis was joined by fellow members of Students Against Destructive Decisions to teach a teen safe driving program for 11th and 12th graders. The presentation was done in partnership with Stony Brook Trauma Center.
The goal was to raise awareness about how distractions, such as texting, and eating and putting on makeup while driving could lead to a serious or deadly accident.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of deaths for teens, claiming the lives of eight teens a day. And in New York, Suffolk County has the highest teen death rate from auto accidents.
Unfortunately, about one to two people die on our roads on average every week, so that adds up to about 150 lives lost every year," says Kristi Ladowski, of Stony Brook Trauma Center.
Volonakis told her peers to put their phones away when driving and make sure the music in the car isn't too loud.
Parents are also encouraged to set the example by keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while driving.