2016 Community Benefit Report CHAI_160088756_2016 Community Benefit Report_FIN - - Page 11

CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL COLORADO Turning Tragedy into Legacy Community Rallies Together to Educate Teens on Safe Driving On October 22, 2014, Taylor Llewellyn, a student at Chaparral High School in Parker, Colorado, tragically lost her life in a car crash when her vehicle drifted across three lanes of traffic and collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle. For Chaparral students Alex Lehman, 18, Jacqueline Closs, 18, and Emily Baller, 17, this unexpected tragedy became an opportunity to promote awareness of safe teen driving issues in their community, and potentially save future lives through the creation of an education program dedicated to Taylor’s memory. With support from Children’s Hospital Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation and Safe Kids Denver Metro, the students’ Chaparral High School Drive Safe Project became reality. In 2016, the three teens launched a series of safe driving efforts as part of the campaign. Chaparral hosted its inaugural “Drive Safe Week,” comprised of hands-on educational and awareness activities for students to spread the word about safe driving. Additionally, they convened workgroups and created committees, dedicating long hours after school and on weekends to build momentum and move the project forward. Experts in the traffic safety field were consulted to guide the development of promotional materials. With the support of Taylor’s family, a documentary video, “Taylor’s Story,” was produced which has subsequently been viewed by thousands of parents and teens. All of these efforts collectively led to the creation of multiple “Teens Take the Wheel” events, which powerfully illustrated the effects of motor vehicle crashes resulting from distracted driving, and the impact they can have on families, schools and communities. “With the goal of impacting lives and with the support of our many partners, we aimed to educate students in an engaging and fun way,” says Alex. “We also shared Taylor’s video at a school assembly, leaving no dry eyes in the room. It was encouraging to see students as excited about Drive Safe as we are.” Although Alex and Jacqueline have graduated, Emily plans to lead the project this year and bring more students on board in an effort to perpetuate the program. “By getting behind the wheel, you are risking your life without even driving distracted,” says Alex. “You are driving a 2,000-pound weapon and it’s just not something we can take lightly.” In 2015 2,656 teens in the Denver metro-area (ages 15-19) were injured in a motor vehicle crash In 2016 Children’s Colorado’s teen driving program reached 6,000 teens Taylor’s video was viewed 17,400 times 11