CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.
Teen drivers are nine times more likely to be involved in a crash than adults.
But those crashes can be preventable.
Some teens learned firsthand how dangerous distracted and impaired driving can be this Saturday.
19 News took a trip to the “Teen Driving ROADeo.”
Teens took their turn at the wheel behind a special go-kart in a Strongsville parking lot.
From the outside, it looks like an easy track, filled with a few cones.
But these teens were missing their turns.
“It was scary because you couldn't keep control of the car and it was just going wherever,” said Victoria Cortina.
“It was so hard to turn it wasn't even funny,” said Jay Apo.
Jay and Victoria go to Strongsville High School.
They don’t have their licenses yet, but they tried out the “Simulated Impaired Driving Experience” with Ohio State Highway Patrol.
“The good thing about this, even though we're having fun, we're also showing the effects of impaired driving,” said State Trooper J'vonne Humphreys.
He said these go-karts have an "impaired driver switch."
“They'll go to make the left turn and the cart will go straight. So it just delays reaction, throws off your equilibrium and also impairs your judgment as well,” Humphreys said.
Teens also put on “impaired goggles" and tried to walk a straight line.
Humphreys hopes this is a lesson teens carry into adulthood.
“So they'll think of this event, and say, 'I know that I think I'm fine but I'm not.' And they'll call and get a ride in the future, instead of getting behind the wheel impaired and putting their lives and other people's lives in danger,” he said.
We followed Jay and Victoria as they tried out the driving simulator.
That ended in crashes for both of them.
We asked Jay what he learned from it.
“Not to text and drive, definitely. Because if you text and drive, you're going to wind up crashing and either hurting yourself or someone else majorly,” he said.
There were several more safety stops for teens to make, including by a tractor trailer.
Clarence Jenkins is with the American Trucking Association’s “Share the Road” program.
He's seen many cars trailing too close behind him on the road.
“Keep a good following distance, never hang in a blind spot, and give us plenty of room to stop,” he said.
“This truck weighs 80,000 pounds,” he said.
“On a good dry day at 55 miles an hour, it takes this truck a football field to come to a complete stop. That’s 360 feet, plus,” Jenkins said.
The “Teen Driving ROADeo" was created by UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
State Farm presented UH with a check for $40,000 on Saturday for the program.