WATCH: Teen crash victim bares scars, warning to classmates
MADELINE Sampson may be a few years away from driving by herself, but she already knows first-hand how deadly the roads can be.
In 2013, the grade 11 student was driving with her mum down a foggy road near Gladstone when the family car hit a tow-truck that had stopped in front of them.
She was critically injured and air-lifted to Brisbane where she remained in a coma for two weeks.
"The last thing I remember was my mum pulling over for a rest and then I fell asleep before it happened," Madeline said.
"It took me a long time to recover."
The 15-year-old took part in a defensive driving program at the Maryborough showgrounds along with her classmates.
While the stories and warnings from Maryborough's Forensic Crash Unit (FCU) and Able Driving School were graphic and eye-opening for the students, Madeline's experience has left an emotional and physical impact.
Madeline has been left with a 30cm scar down her stomach, and still has abdominal pains "every now and then".
Despite surviving such a traumatic event, the teen said she was not nervous about learning how to drive.
"Because I know I'm going to do the right thing," she said.
While Madeline considers herself very lucky, Senior Constable Ron Van Der Steen has seen many young crash victims who have not survived to share their stories.
In the last four weeks, Snr Con Van Der Steen has investigated three fatal and one serious crash in the Maryborough policing district.
He said a change in attitude of young drivers would go a long way to curb those grim statistics.
"Attitude affects your driving," Snr Con Van Der Steen said.
"If you have a bad attitude, you'll have a bad outcome on the road.
"If you have a good attitude, you'll be fine."
The defensive driving program was organised by all three rotary clubs of Maryborough, and was shown to Aldridge State High School on Monday.
Students from St Mary's College and Riverside Christian College will attend the course on Thursday.