By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– BGE partnered with local safety organizations and the Baltimore County Police Department to drive home their message of safety.

The Baltimore Gas and Electric Company hosted their 17th annual event Friday, where teens experienced the virtual consequences of distracted driving.

“It’s pretty scary if it was real life and I hope I never try to text and drive in real life or hit a car,” said high school freshman Cole Norris.

The high-tech simulator demonstrated the dangers of using a cell phone while on the road.

“My son being 15 and ready to drive it gives him a little insight on what’s to come an what not to do,” parent Jeff Norris said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teen drivers have the highest proportion of distracted related fatal crashes.

“One night can change your entire life and end your life,” said DUI survivor Kyle Gimbolt.

Gimbolt shared his experience with young drivers about how he survived an accident when he was intoxicated behind the wheel.

“I hit a tree about 60 miles an hour, spent three months in a coma and had to relearn how to do everything,” he said. “I had a breathing tube.”

BGE hosts the annual event to educate teens and create safer roads for everyone.

“At one point it was the leading cause of our company crashes, just being struck by other vehicles, so it presents a danger out there to everyone, so its really a split second decision, where you take your mind off something and these teenagers think they are capable of doing everything and what we are proving to them is they can’t,” said Justin Mulcahy of BGE Communications.

Research shows car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S.

More than 100 BGE employees attended with their families and friends.

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