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SADD encourages parents to talk to teens about distracted driving

By: CBS 21 Web Staff

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Students in central Pennsylvania are working to raise awareness about the dangers of distractive driving, and going orange for a good cause.

Students Against Destructive Decisions wore orange April 9 to honor Owen Brezitski who was killed by a distracted teenager driver in 2011. Orange was Owen's favorite color and is the namesake of Owens Foundation and the Orange 4 Owen program.

SADD chapters around the commonwealth have been talking to students about the dangers of distracted driving.

The SADD discussions came on the heels of a recently-released report from AAA showing nearly six in 10 teenage motorists involved in crashes were also subject to distractions, such as cell phones.

SADD urged parents to talk to their teens before they get behind the wheel.

"They don't have the skill yet for depth perception for driving effectively for those situations that come up very quickly on the roadway, and we all need to be cognitive of our behavior behind the wheel," said Felicity BeBacco Erni, of the Pennsylvania Teen Safe Driving Coalition.

According to the AAA report, cell phone use among teenage motorists was especially harmful. Researchers said drivers who were texting or talking on the phone had their eyes off the road for several seconds leading up to a crash.