“We as parents and grandparents should be outraged that the number one killer of our kids age 8 to 24 is car crashes…it is so preventable. Education is the key and we must change teen driving behaviors and habits. Distracted driving is an epidemic in our country. I believe the use of simulators is a great educational tool,” said Mr. Tiberi.
Back in 2013, Dom & Terri Tiberi founded the Maria Tiberi Foundation in memory of their daughter, Maria, who was killed tragically in an automobile accident when she collided at 53 mph into the back of a semi truck. Since Maria had only three years of driving experience, the Tiberi’s are devoted to ensuring no one else has to endure the tragic loss of a loved one due to inexperience or lack of appropriate driver education.
Dom, central Ohio TV sports anchor, developed the “Maria’s Message” presentation to create a new generation of defensive, not distracted, drivers. He has delivered this presentation to 83 high school audiences reaching more than 60,000 young people to date. Additionally, the foundation is providing distracted driving simulators so young people can experience the devastating consequences first hand. Over 90% of the money raised by the foundation is allocated specifically to purchasing driving simulators and placing them with police departments and school districts who will utilize them in their distracted driving outreach programs. To that end, the foundation has already donated 42 Virtual Driver Interactive simulators throughout Ohio to reach as many teens as possible including the Ohio Department of Transportation, local police departments, sheriff’s offices, school districts and hospitals.
“We want people to realize through these simulators what bad can happen and learn it in a safe environment. Don’t learn it on the highway,” Dom said. “We want to change habits.”