State Farm Agent Carmen Rivera Supporting Local Teens Twice Over

State Farm Insurance Agent Carmen Rivera has been busy supporting our local students this autumn!

Fauquier High School’s Collision Repair Training Program

On Thursday, October 25, Carmen Rivera met with Mr. Craig Canard, Collision Repair Instructor at Fauquier High School, to present three salvaged vehicles donated by State Farm Insurance to the school’s collision repair training program. 

The vehicles, a 2015 Ford Focus, a 2015 Volkswagen Golf, and a 2015 Hyundai Elantra, were considered unrepairable and a total loss after being involved in accidents. State Farm took ownership of the vehicles and took the opportunity to donate them to the school for educational and research purposes. Vehicle donations like these provides a valuable hands-on opportunity for students to practice techniques specifically on newer and more intricate model vehicles.

“With limited budgets, schools welcome the opportunity to receive additional practice, especially on newer vehicles equipped with the most current systems. This hands-on practice enables students to best prepare for their future in the automotive field. These same skills are also valuable assets to learn for future auto insurance adjusters,” said Carmen Rivera.

Career & Technical Education in Fauquier County encompasses a wide range of opportunities for students to explore and pursue their career objectives prior to graduating from high school.  These programs evolve each year in response to the changing workplace and workforce needs. It is their mission to provide all students with the skills necessary to compete in a global society and excel in the careers of tomorrow. The Collision Repair Training Program is just one example of these programs.

Teens and Impaired/Distracted Driving

As an insurance agent, Rivera is constantly reminded of the dangers of impaired or distracted driving, and in November she will be visiting two area high schools to help students understand the importance of being responsible drivers. She’s teaching students that it’s cool to be smart drivers. 

Carmen says, “I feel it is my responsibility as a local business owner and parent to utilize all the resources that have been afforded to me as a State Farm agent to educate and help our youthful drivers.  Our children have more distractions than ever before; and sad to say, accidents from distracted driving are horrific. Unfortunately, Fauquier County and its surrounding counties are no stranger to motor vehicle fatalities involving our youth.  The number of 15 to 20 year olds that died in motor vehicle crashes doubled from Jan 1st to June 30th, 2018 as compared to the same time last year. I never want to receive a phone call from a parent stating their child has been seriously injured or killed due to any car accident, and even more so when distracted driving or not wearing a seat belt has been involved. These type of situations can be avoided by having a “heart-to-heart” with our students and by giving them a safe environment to experience the dangers of distracted driving.

The statistics are sobering:

    • Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death among teens in the U.S.
    • The fatality rate for drivers age 16 to 19 is four times that of drivers age 25 to 69 years.
    • The crash fatality rate (crash fatalities/100,000 population) is highest for 16- to 17-year-olds within the first six months after getting their license – and remains high through age 24.
    • The top three predictors for fatality are non-use of seat belts, teen drivers, and roads with speed limits of 45 mph or higher.
    • Approximately two-thirds of teen passenger deaths (ages 13 to 19) occur when other teenagers are driving.

In partnership with State Farm, the Virginia State Police continues to offer their Distracted/DUI Driving Simulators to the Northern Virginia community.  The program incorporates the use of a golf cart to allow student to see how their driving ability is affected by a variety of different factors, e.g. distractions, texting, alcohol, etc. Participants will drive the golf cart with a VA State trooper or State Farm agent engaging them in conversation to help represent this type of distraction. To help drive home how alcohol affects your driving, they also provide Fatal Vision googles to each student and then have attempt to drive.

Carmen will be attendance interacting with the students by riding along and engaging in conversations to explain how distractions, e.g. conversations, texting, music, etc., take their attention away from the road and other vehicles. The first visit was to Liberty High School on November 1 and 2, and the second will be at Kettle Run High School in the coming weeks. 

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