The damage to human lives that can result from car crashes was put on stark display this week at Dubbo for teens to see in the hope it will help them make sound driving choices.
A Dubbo man who has lived with a brain injury since a motor vehicle crash told the school students of his daily experiences.
Andrew Murray delivered one of the presentations at this year's Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program attended by hundreds of teens from across the Orana region.
"(He) spoke to them about his brain injury, that it had ruined his life and his family's life," RYDA coordinator Sandy Dunshea said.
"It was a real wake-up call to them."
Mr Dunshea said the program was valuable, reaching year 11 students as they held or were about to obtain a learner's licence.
"They're new to driving, keen and enthusiastic," he said.
"The program is about giving them the opportunity to make the right choices."
Mr Dunshea said his club, Rotary Club of Dubbo South, had been involved in co-ordinating RYDA for 12 years, seeing it as a worthwhile project and contribution to the community.
Driving instructor Greg Reichart provided practical demonstrations of braking distances at three speeds, 40km/h, 60km/h and 80km/h. "The message was if you double your speed from 40km/h to 80km/h it's quadruple the stopping distance," he said.
A car travelling first at 50km/h - a common speed limit in urban areas - and being able to brake in time, and then at 60km/h when a foam dummy came off worse for wear, showed the difference just 10km/h could make to stopping distance.
"The visual impact of the car hitting the dummy, the dummy goes flying and its shoes come off," Mr Reichart said.
Mr Reichart said his entire career had involved road safety, first as a police officer and then as a driving instructor and he believed RYDA "opened a lot" of eyes among a key group.
"I can see it has an impact on the kids, all they have to do is take it into their solo driving careers, hopefully they will retain what they've learnt," he said.