CNN Hero Working to Reduce Teen Motor Vehicle Crashes

By | October 21, 2016 | Car Accidents, Featured, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

A Welcomed Hero Story in the Midst of Election News Cycles

If you are like me, you welcome some “good news” that is not of the election nature right now. Last night, I caught a clip on CNN dedicated to heroes.

Jeff Payne’s hero story was especially appealing to me as he works to reduce motor vehicle crash injuries and deaths specifically with teen drivers through practical driver education.

Motor vehicle crashes are the number cause of teen deaths. This is typically due to their inexperience. This cable segment reminded me of the importance of parents taking an active role in helping their teens get real experience behind the wheel with guidance before turning them lose on the roadways.

Jeff Payne, a young race car driver made his living competing around the world. Over time he became increasingly aware of the high number of teenage deaths due to motor vehicle crashes. “All these kids are dying on our roadways. Thousands of families are affected every single day by having a loved one injured or killed, “ said Payne.

“Everyone is quick to point fingers at young drivers. But how do we expect them to do any different when they aren’t taught how to drive in the first place?” said Payne.

Payne’s Nonprofit–Driver’s Edge

In 2002, Payne founded the nonprofit Driver’s Edge with the goal of preparing teens to be safe drivers. Since 2002, his program has provided free defensive driving classes to more than 110,000 teenagers and their parents across the United States.

Payne started this program when he saw the lack of driver’s education across the U.S. Driver education programs are limited in our schools and many have had to eliminate it completely due to lack of funds. Teens learn how to pass a written test but that does not prepare them for actual driving.

To learn more about Payne’s program specifically, visit:

New Drivers Need Practice

With the loss of driver education programs in so many public schools, parents have to take more responsibility in teaching their teens to drive. When I remember my days as a teen driver, it was out on my father’s farm where the speeds were slow and there was room for error. Payne’s program enforces the message that teens need real-life driving practice fostered in a safe environment.

While most of us are not going to send our kids to Vegas for this program, as a parent you can assist your teen in becoming a more responsible and experienced driver.

The use of seat belts and the ability to refrain from distracted driving are two of the biggest issues facing teen drivers. Also, when multiple teens are in a vehicle, the odds of a crash happening increase greatly due to distraction.

I do not know if this program has any accreditation criteria or even if it is sponsored or monitored by any of the traffic safety groups, but I like the idea of better preparing teens to drive with practical experience.

Missouri offers various driving school programs for a cost where they prepare new drivers with rules of the road and practical experience. Whether you involve your teen in a driver’s education program or successfully complete the Missouri DOR Driver Experience Log, chances are your teen will need far more than 40 (forty, ten at-night) hours of driving practice. Thinking back on my driving education, I literally spent hours every week driving with my dad for several years before I was able to take the car out on my own.

Operating a motor vehicle is a serious commitment. Often we forget about the serious nature of operating vehicles because it is so common place in our society.

If You Are Involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident at any age, you will need legal assistance. On average, individuals are involve in five (5) motor vehicle crashes in their lifetime from small fender benders to serious crashes. If you have a minor fender bender and are not injured, you may not need legal assistance. However, if you are injured, assuredly, you will need expert advice from an experienced car crash attorney.

Our attorneys are available seven days a week for free, confidential consultations.

Call at (314) 276-1681.

About The Author

Zane T. Cagle

Zane T. Cagle is the founding president and lead trial attorney at The Cagle Law Firm. With a strong dedication to his clients, he has built a reputation for his tenacious representation in personal injury cases, ensuring each client's unique story is heard. Areas of Practice: Personal injury, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death. Bar Admissions: Supreme Court of Missouri, Illinois & Kentucky. Superior Court of U.S. Virgin Islands Education: Washington University School of Law. Awards: Super Lawyers, Top 40 Under 40 by The National Trial Lawyers Association, 10 Best in Missouri for Customer Satisfaction.

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The Cagle Law Firm serves accident and injury clients throughout St. Louis and the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, including the eastern Missouri and southern Illinois communities. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with your personal injury case, call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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