Call for Stronger Teen Safety Driving Awareness
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Despite a lot of improvement in recent decades, automobile accidents are still the number one cause of death of teens in the U.S. Almost 4000 teens driving aged between 15 to 20 lost their lives to a car accident in 2013 alone.
With our economy on the rise, there are more teens than ever driving among us, usually driving in older vehicles that are not up to standard with the latest safety features. Preliminary 2015 data suggests that overall traffic fatalities are on the rise.
A Call For More Involvement From Community Role Models
Many teens driving have just received their drivers license. Which means there are many un-experienced teens on the road. Numerous states already have stringent teen driver licensing laws and programs which help to promote parent involvement which are both absolutely vital for tackling rising teen fatality accidents on the road. But states are now looking for the help of other role model/authority figures in the community to step up their involvement in this growing crisis. People who teen drivers perhaps look up to other than their parents. People who perhaps have the opportunity and capacity to positively influence teen drivers.
National teens Driving safety Week (October 18-24) presented the perfect opportunity to test out exactly how to engage these non-traditional teen influence’s. A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, Under Their Influence: The New Teen Safe Driving Champions, provides great insight of how states such as Georgia can partner with these adult role-models. The report was funded by the Ford Motor Company Fund, researched and written by teen driving expert Pam Fischer, and guided by a panel of teen safe driving experts.
While parents have always been known to be the main influence to their teenage children, it is no secret that all teens driving spend a great deal of time around other adults. From doctor visits, to reporting to work, to interacting with customers, to even pumping gas, there is great opportunity for other adults to get involved. An opportunity for teenage drivers to get a fresh perspective on making safer choices behind the wheel.
Are You a Role Model for Teen Drivers in Atlanta GA?
Below you will find just a few examples of the types of adults identified in the report who can become a positive influence and voice to the topic and effectively engage teens driving:
- Coaches: There is a big push for coaches to become involved in the program and become leaders when it comes to teen driving safety.
- Teachers: More than ever, teachers are becoming more involved in empowering middle and high school students explore the physics of motion and understand the dangers of distracted driving through a two-part experiment.
- Activity Directors: The Washington Traffic Safety Commision is using a private sector to incentivize high school activity directors, club leaders and other advisors to promote teen/parent conversations about marijuana and the dangers of drugged driving.
- Professional Drivers: The UPS Road Code program, a partnership between the UPS Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, has reached more than 20,000 teens. It includes classroom instruction, games, videos, and a virtual driving simulation taught by UPS employee volunteers, many with more than 25 years of safe driving experience. The program also encourages them to spread the message with their peers and families.
- Doctors: The Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program at Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt (Tennessee) sponsors a year-long, school-based distracted driving campaign. The Be in the Zone program educates teen leaders and invites them to conduct their own activities such as community events and the creation of a Public Service Announcement, to compete for prizes.