Educators drive home safe driving message

Jerry Kissinger
Jerry Kissinger
Joyce Manalo
Joyce Manalo
Alan Oda
Alan Oda

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - With school back in session and more teens back on our roadways at the busiest times of the day, educators prepare to drive home the safe driving message.

Nearly 5,000 teens across the U.S. are killed each year in car crashes. It continues to rank as the number one killer of American teens. Allstate Insurance held safe driver training courses in 42 states, including one here in Honolulu.

The Kissinger family is one of about 10 families to drive through this distracted driving course.

"I don't think it's things I could teach him, trying to teach him to drive, that you don't think as a parent, I'm gonna distract you while you're driving, so this helps because it's a controlled course," Pearl City resident Jerry Kissinger said.

As Keone controls the wheel, his father, Jerry rides shotgun.

"My wife is always telling me, you can't drive your normal way when he's in the car, 'cuz he'll pick up those bad habits," Kissinger said.

But Keone doesn't mirror his father's ways, at least in the car.

"These cones represent people and if you hit one, that's a death," Keone said.

As these teens get ready to jump behind the wheel and get on our roadways, this course aims to help them out with this transition.

"You can really get into a situation, feel and see firsthand by yourself that sending a text message, zipping your bottle of water, trying to open a snack, really does distract you and how by not looking all around while driving is very critically dangerous," Parent participant Joyce Manalo said.

The Manalo's hope their daughter learns as much as she can before she starts driving on a real course, our roads.

"It's scary on the road, I'd rather be practicing over here," Manalo said.

Parents feel Oahu's fairly new law banning the use of electronic devices while driving reinforces the importance of driving without distractions.

"It's just that split second taking your eye off the road, talking to a friend, drinking, eating, texting, could be an accident," Instructor Dave Miller said.

Some of the distraction methods of this course included drivers trying to grab candy from the backseat, turning up the music and of course texting and talking on the phone.

"Don't be distracted while driving, drive safe, and don't become apart of those statistics," Allstate Insurance's Alan Oda said.