Teens, Adults Invited to Automobile Association’s ‘AAA to (Gen) Z Summit’ on Threats to Teenage Drivers

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How does today’s technology impact teen driving? What does marijuana really do to impair teen drivers? Is the real problem for teens distracted driving or anxiety/attention deficit disorder?

If you’re between 15 and 19 years and are a new driver or prospective driver, you’re invited to attend AAA Northeast’s half-day teen safety summit, AAA to (Gen) Z for a discussion on the risks and challenges that teen drivers face.

This free event will take place Dec. 6 at the Four Points Sheraton in Meriden from 8 a.m. to  1:30 p.m. It’s also is open educators, coaches, law enforcement and traffic safety stakeholders — anyone who wants to explore the challenges teens and young adults face behind the wheel today.

“Although our forum is on a school day, we’re encouraging parents and educators to treat this as an enrichment learning experience or health class field trip for teens,” said Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast’s public affairs specialist, who is coordinating the forum. “What makes this forum so interesting is we have a strong slate of speakers who’ll discuss topics not typically covered in driver education classes.”

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Subject experts will lead lively interactive discussions to engage youth and leave attendees with the resources to lead conversations within their own schools, organizations, and communities. They include:

  • Tim Hollister, lawyer, author, and a creator of Connecticut’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing law;
  • Filmmaker Joni Siani, who’ll discuss “Celling Your Soul –Technology Addiction & Driving;
  • Dr. David Shapiro, St. Francis HospitalHartford, who’ll discuss“Dazed, Confused  & Driving: Pot & Teen Driving” — his research on the impact of marijuana use on teen driving;
  • Evan Levene, AAA Allied Driving Instructor, who’ll discuss“Fatal Distraction: ADD & Teen Driving,” — his personal experience on how anxiety and ADD impacts teen drivers
  • Leah Walton, Traffic Safety Advocate, National Transportation Safety Board,  who’ll discuss a “Crash Course in Drowsy Driving,” — the impact of sleep deprivation on driving;
  • Colleen Sheehey-Church, National President, MADD who’ll be the lunch speaker.

To register, visit www.aaa.com/aaatoz or email Fran Mayko at fmayko@aaanortheast.com.

Slide from a presentation by Jake Nelson, AAA national teen safety director, at a March 2017 “AAA to (Gen) Z” teen driving safety “summit.”