Crashes remain the leading cause of teen deaths nationwide.
That's why Rutherford County Sheriff's school resource officers hope to lower the rate of teen deaths through informational events this week during National Teen Driver Safety Week, held Oct. 18-24, said SRO Dustin Cox.
"We want to raise awareness for distracted driving," Cox said. "We are reaching out to teen drivers and parents of teen drivers to spread the message of driving safely. We can make Rutherford County safer by teaching teen drivers."
SROs will sponsor events every day and promote a Teen Driving Safety Event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Smyrna High School at 100 Bulldog Drive in Smyrna.
The driving safety event will allow teens to experience a series of distracted driving exercises.
Teens will practice their skills in distracting driving simulators and drive a golf cart and play corn hole while wearing DUI goggles that reflect someone who has been drinking.
Students will wear opioid and marijuana goggles to experience being under the influence of drugs while tossing around a ball. They will ride the seat belt convincer that demonstrates the impact of not wearing a seat belt.
Double Zero Sno will furnish free snow cones.
The week kicks off from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at Sonic restaurant locations in Murfreesboro and Smyrna and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Stones River Mall where SROs will distribute keychains and pass out flyers about the Teen Distracted Driving Education Day.
Cox and a representative from the Tennessee Highway Safety Office will speak about teen driving safety from 8:10 a.m. to 9 a.m., Wednesday on the Action Line show on WGNS radio. Parents may call in with questions.
SROs will be at Chick-fil-a with their cow from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Old Fort Parkway location. A DJ will play songs at the drive-thru while SROs pass out keychains.
Teens will receive keychains at the Smyrna vs. La Vergne football game from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Smyrna High School.
"It's going to be a good week," Cox said.