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Family working to help protect teen drivers in memory of lost son

Mitchel Kiefer was killed by a distracted driver while on his way to MSU. During Teen Driver Safety Awareness Week, his family is urging parents to talk with teens.
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 9:09 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As Teen Driver Safety Week continues, parents are encouraged to talk with their teens about how to stay safe while they’re behind the wheel.

There are more than 15 million teen drivers throughout the US. Here in Michigan, The Kiefer Foundation is working to help spread awareness

The foundation was started in honor of Mitchel Kiefer, who was killed by a distracted driver while on his way to Michigan State University. His family is now working to help protect others, even working with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to install cable barriers on I-96 where their son was killed.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens ages 15 to 18 in the US. Steve Keifer, Mitchel’s father says prevention starts with changing your behavior and just putting your phone down.

“Our young people are so connected and addicted to the phones that it’s difficult for them to put them down in the vehicle,” he said. “It’s certainly an extremely severe problem. I would encourage parents to make sure they’re having the discussions with the children.”

There is a unique opportunity open right now for teens to teach other teens about safe driving provided by the Michigan State Police. The Strive for a Safer Drive Program (S4SD) is available to students at every Michigan high school. Students can get behind the wheel of a specially equipped vehicle on a closed course to learn a variety of safe driving topics. The program is a joint venture presented by Ford Driving Skills For Life (DSFL) and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP).

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