How parents can help their teens be safer drivers

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — The recent deadly car crashes involving teenagers have many parents talking about how to help young drivers become safer drivers.

Steve Zimmerman is a battalion chief with the Greensboro Fire Department. In 32 years, he says he has seen the unthinkable too many times at the scene of car crashes involving young drivers.

“You see life just snapped away in a twinkle of an eye,” he said. “A deer could run out in front of you, a dog, excessive speed, distracted driving, too many people in the car. It happens for so many reasons.”

Zimmerman created Vehicle Injury Prevention for a Very Important Person, a nonprofit made up of firefighters and other emergency personnel who share the devastating and heartbreaking real-life stories they see on a daily basis with high schoolers across the state.

“After riding so many different crashes and having to cut teenagers out of so many vehicles, I felt like we needed to get out in front of the problem.”

He says parents need to continually have a conversation with their kids about what safe driving involves. “Don’t text and drive, only have two other people in the car with you, be home by a certain time, don’t speed, pay attention and stay focused.”

If you’d like more information on VIP or on bringing the program to your teen’s high school, visit the website at

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