Lauren Winborne of SteerSmart teaches teens to make safe choices on the road.

Lauren Winborne of SteerSmart teaches teens to make safe choices on the road.

Steering young drivers in the right direction

BY: Mickey Goodman

When the first of Lauren Winborne’s six children was old enough to get a driver’s license, she was haunted by memories of friends who had died in serious car accidents while she was in high school and college. The only safe driving programs the Buckhead resident could find were similar to the one she had taken as a teen.

Out of that void came Steer- Smart, a 501c3 organization Winborne developed to teach high school and college students about the risks of the road and how the decisions they make can have devastating consequences for themselves and others.

“There’s a misconception that straight A students don’t drive recklessly, or that fatalities only happen at 2 in the morning,” says Winborne. “It doesn’t matter. Accidents are an equal opportunity killer.” Winborne presents the Steer- Smart program free of charge to students and parents at public and private high schools, colleges, religious institutions and community centers. If a school has difficulty booking a full assembly, Winborne will make presentations in individual classrooms. The organization is supported through donations, fundraisers and grants.

“Audiences come in expecting to hear familiar information,” says Winborne. “Instead, our one hour program is fast-paced and dynamic, where students dissect the anatomy of real crashes that resulted in fatalities or catastrophic injuries and hear from victims and families. Our emphasis is on prevention and a strong awareness of others on the road.”

To donate to SteerSmart or to book a program, visit steersmart.org.