GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With spring break approaching, Frank Hinds wants to help students at Ironwood High School make smart choices.
"We’re really trying to get these kids to understand the importance and responsibility when they get behind the wheel of a car," said Hinds, who is the executive director of Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance. "Too many teens are being killed on the roadways today."
Hinds visited Ironwood Thursday as part of a safety day/club fair held by State Farm Insurance to teach students about safe driving. State Farm’s Celebrate My Drive program had awarded Ironwood with $125,000 for students’ safe driving commitments.
Car crashes have been the leading cause of death for teens ages 14 to 18 for the last 30 years, State Farm said in a statement.
Hinds knows how deadly a car accident can be.
His daughter, Jennifer Hinds, went to Ironwood before she died in an accident in 1997. Since then, he has dedicated himself to preventing other accidents. He even brought to the school the car his daughter was driving when she was killed.
Hinds said he tries to make kids think about who could be riding in their passenger seat.
"Your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your mother, father -- somebody you really care about," he said. "You don’t want to be the one that causes that person to be injured or killed."
Ironwood freshman Samantha King said Jennifer’s car made an impact.
"I know that from the effects of texting or looking away from the road, that car over there is kind of what would happen," she said. "I wouldn’t want to be in that situation because I could die, and I don’t want to die."
Taylor Schreiber, a junior, said the car reminded him of similar accidents.
"It kind of hit me because I was reading the stories about kids getting in wrecks that killed them going to prom," he said. "And I’m a junior, so I’ll be going to prom this year."
Hinds wants students to know that the picture is bigger than they think.
“It’s not just the person who’s injured or killed,” he said. “It affects the whole family.”