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Lutzie 43
October 12, 2022

Categories: 43 Key Seconds

An Educator’s Perspective: Statesboro Safe Driving Summit

The Lutzie 43 Foundation in partnership with the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT), hosted its second Safe Driving Summit in Statesboro, Georgia at Georgia Southern University on September 13. 

Over 240 high school students from 8 high schools representing 4 counties participated in the day-long event that focuses on teaching and showing students the dangers of distracted, impaired, and unsafe driving. 

The number one cause of death in teens is crashes and accidents caused by distracted, impaired, and unsafe driving. These Safe Driving Summits give students the tools and resources to make better decisions behind the wheel and give educators a chance to bring back these tools to their schools. 

Aurelia Moss, Counselor at Effingham County High School, shared her thoughts and experience on the Safe Driving Summit:  

Why did you feel it was important to have students from Effingham County High School attend the Safe Driving Summit in Statesboro? 

Driver’s Education is no longer taught at our school. Many of our students complete the state approved online courses, but nothing beats a hands-on experience. I felt that the Safe Driving Summit in Statesboro would be a reality check on how one poor decision behind the wheel can change their lives. Our students need to be reminded of what they should be aware of when driving to become safe and responsible drivers. 

What does your school currently do to educate your students on the dangers of distracted, impaired, and unsafe driving? 

We offer an assembly during the week before prom to remind the students about how to make good decisions while driving. We also offer a program called Teen Maze which helps youth understand the choices and consequences they encounter in their everyday lives, including choices behind the wheel.

What was the most impactful part of the summit for your students? 

Honestly, everything at the summit was impactful. It is hard to say if there was anything of greater importance than the other. Each breakout covered a topic that our students needed to hear. The insurance breakout with StateFarm did an excellent job educating students on the consequences and costs to them and their families when in a crash. The students were very engaged in the Q&A with the law enforcement officers and learned what to do when being pulled over for a traffic violation. The ER and Beyond breakout session had a huge impact on how real it can get when you do not practice safe driving. And with our school in a rural area, the Truck safety breakout was very valuable showing the students a truck’s blind spots and how to safely drive around a large truck. 

Descriptions of the four breakouts the students participated in.

After attending the summit, what measures will Effingham County take to ensure its students get from point A to point B incident free on the roads? 
As mentioned, Effingham County is in a rural area with dangerous two-lane roads. It is very important that our students take extra precautions to be safe on these roads.

After the event, the students shared with me just how valuable they felt the summit was and how it impacted them to take more precautions when driving. They felt that the entire student body needed to go through the summit and hear this message. The students who attended the summit have been proactive in sharing what they learned with their peers. Recently, the students partnered with the sheriff’s department and passed out Freeze Pops to the other students with information on safe driving. The summit empowered our students to take action and it has truly been amazing to see. 

What would you say to other educators and school leaders about the summit and why it’s important for their school and county/city schools to attend? 

During my tenure at Effingham County High School, I have lost three students due to traffic fatalities. As an educator, you never want to have a student’s funeral to attend.

Teens sometimes don’t understand the dire consequences of their actions. The summit provides a wake-up call to them to be more responsible and deliberate when getting behind the wheel. I feel like all superintendents should strongly encourage schools within their districts to attend this event. 

What did YOU learn as an adult from the summit that you will take back to your students, colleagues, friends, and family?

I was excited that as a school chaperone, we would attend the breakout sessions along with the students. Distracted, impaired, and unsafe driving affects all of us, not just our teens. It was a great reminder for us educators to prioritize safe driving and spread that message among our students, co-workers, family, and friends. 

I found it valuable when Mike Lutzenkirchen told the students to go home and deliver the message to their parents as well. From speeding to mobile phone usage, most of us have fallen prey to distracted and unsafe driving as adults. As a mother of an 18 and 22-year-old, it has made me take extra precautions while driving since attending the summit and emphasizing that among my children. 

To see a full recap of the Safe Driving Summit, watch the recap video below or check out this recent blog post. Interested in learning more about future Safe Driving Summits and partnering with us? Contact us!