Grand Island leaders join hundreds of communities across the nation for the first "Celebrate My Drive" event, organized by State Farm officials.
Car crashes are the number one killer of teens in the U.S.; according to the Centers for
Disease Control it takes nearly 3,000 lives per year. Driver safety advocates say teaching teens to drive safe is a challenge.
Sean Gallatly, State Farm agent, said "Kids have so much interactive things, with the technologies that we have, in order to reach these teens of today, these interactive things, they can go in and do hands-on [learning]."
Taping corners of the Nebraska State Patrol cars, and allowing teens to experience what they see while texting and driving was one of those interactive simulations.
Teenage driver, Kathie Nguyen, said "Teaching kids all these lessons with all these cool simulators really keeps kids interested rather than hearing it from a lecture or somebody."
Trooper Jon Sanko said, "If you're looking at your phone, your peripheral vision is all you have," he added there is at least a 50 percent reduced vision while texting and driving."
Nebraska state patrol provided several other simulations including a 5mph crash to demonstrate seatbelt safety, and beer goggles to mimic driving while intoxicated.
Car crashes remain the largest public health issue facing teens.