14/69 Auto Body is once again sponsoring the annual Tire Rack Street Survival program for teens, and in preparation, I had the pleasure of sitting down with long time racer, SCAA member and supporter/organizer of the Street Survival program, Larry Dent. At 82 years old, his heart is still in the game… oh, I mean, on the track. Along with Val McHammond, they organize the local Tire Rack Street Survival program each year to help kids get the needed driving education that can’t be learned from traditional driver’s ed or a casual drive with dad.
It was quickly evident by listening to Larry talk about the program that he is passionate. His animated hands, ornery grin, and excited tones are all clues that driving is in his blood and he has a long history and plenty of stories to share. What caught me by surprise, however, is how serious he became when I asked him why he still cared and pushed so hard for this program at 82 years old.
As soon as Larry began to tell his story I understood his passion. He told me about 3 local teens that died near his house in an avoidable accident and recalled the tree he passes every day that acts as a reminder. His eyes looked a little glassy as he told me the story and I knew he was truly hurt. He explained how each day he sees the flowers that are placed near the tree by the parents of the teens that lost their lives and he can feel their anguish.
The worst part, he says, is how easily the accident could have been avoided if the teen driving would have taken the Street Survival class.
I feel I have a better understanding of why Larry forges forward to teach the youth of today how to handle themselves in emergency situations on the road. Although not everyone has a personal experience like Larry’s, many do. He shared these shocking statistics with me:
1. The leading cause of death among 13-19 year olds in the US is from a motor vehicle crash.
2. 62% of teenager passenger deaths in 2014 occurred in a vehicle driven by another teenager
3. Teenagers cause 2.5 million accidents per year
4. In 2013, those 2.5 million accidents resulted in over 5500 deaths of teen. That is more than all the soldiers that have been killed in Iraq/Afghanistan in 6 years.
With those kind of statistics, it’s likely that you or someone you know can relate to the pain these families must feel.
This year on Sunday, October 2, 2016, join 14/69 Auto Body in our crusade to save at least one life by giving teens hands-on experience on how to control their car in abnormal or emergency driving conditions. Click here for all the details and what you can expect from the program.
Don’t miss this opportunity… It could be your life that’s saved.
REGISTER HERE and reserve your spot. Space is limited.