‘Make smart choices,’ families of teens killed in car crashes say

Oct 19, 2022, 11:00 AM
teen driving is pictured...
Ally Brewer drives her new car around the neighborhood in Herriman on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. Families and representatives for state agencies asked parents to set a good driving example for their teens. (Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)
(Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation and Department of Public Safety held an event Tuesday to raise awareness about risky driving. At the event, families who’ve lost teens in car crashes put out emotional pleas to help remind you and your teens to drive responsibly. 

Isaac Call and Sharaden Caldwell each lost a teenage sister to a car crash. Their sisters, Peyton and Emma, were just two of 33 teens who lost their lives on Utah’s roads last year. 

Caldwell was emotional as she asked drivers to acknowledge their risky habits.

“Do you drive drowsy and put people’s lives at risk? Your family would rather you get there late than never. Do you have an anger issue on the road and try to get revenge by tailgating or other aggressive behaviors?”

Caldwell asked attendants of the event to make smart choices on the road.

UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras said teens are the most vulnerable drivers.

“Last year 39 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes. And out of those 39, 27 of those drivers were at fault.”

To help the problem, the state agencies and families of crash victims want adults to help prepare their teenagers. Parents can help their teens by helping them log hours and take driving safety courses, even before they’re old enough to get behind the wheel.

But the biggest plea at the event was for parents to set a good example for their teens.

“Put your phone down, buckle your seatbelt and drive responsibly and care about those people in those other cars,” Becerra said.

Related: Davis County School District’s teen centers providing resources to students

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‘Make smart choices,’ families of teens killed in car crashes say