Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Teen Driver Safety Information and Resource

Tips for teen drivers during prom and graduation season

While helping your teen plan, parents can advise about safe driving on the big night.

April, May and June are the time of the year where high school students celebrate by attending proms and graduation parties. As these times of celebration near, it provides a great opportunity for families to have conversations around celebrating safe as their teen drivers get behind the wheel.
Automobile crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among teenagers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more teens are involved in fatal crashes between 6 pm and midnight than any other time of the day.
With April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month and May being Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, this time of year provides a great opportunity for families to talk about the following tips for being safe on the roadways.


  1. Connect with other parents - Speak directly with any parents supervising after-parties your teen will attend since some parents may allow underage drinking.
  2. Talk about (not) drinking/doing drugs - According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD), 74% of kids turn to their parents for guidance on drinking. Talk to your teen about dealing with peer pressure, the dangers/repercussions of underage drinking and driving, using illegal substances, and contacting you for a ride in situations involving drugs and alcohol.
  3. Offer options for rides - If a group insists on traveling together to prom and numerous graduation parties, talk to other parents about hiring a limo. That way no one gets behind the wheel. If it's not in the budget, offer to drive them yourself, or research other public transportation options in your community.
  4. Have the party come to you - Plan your own, adult-supervised, drug/alcohol free after-party at your house, school or local community center.
  5. Set the example - You can't always be in the car, but you can keep safety top-of-mind by demonstrating and enforcing habits like wearing a seat belt, not using a cell phone while driving, following the speed limit and driving 2N2®  - 2 eyes on the road, 2 hands on the wheel.


  1. Groom before you zoom - Before it's time to go, take one last look in the mirror and make sure you're looking good so nothing takes your focus off the road while driving.
  2. Get your beauty rest - Since many parties last until early morning, make sure you get plenty of sleep leading up to the big day, or ask your parents to pick you up so you and your friends don't have to drive tired. Fatal car crashes involving teens happen significantly more at night.
  3. Set limits - Put a limit on the number of friends you ride with. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) , the risk of fatal crashes increases with each passenger. And if riding with friends, remind them to put their phones away and turn the music down.
  4. Don't Drink/Do Drugs and Drive - Drinking before the age of 21 is illegal, and alcohol and driving should never mix no matter your age. This goes for using drugs and other illegal substances as well.
  5. Seatbelts are the perfect accessory - A little wrinkle in your dress, tux or graduation gown is hardly worth not buckling up for. Buckling your seatbelt can save your life and keep you from getting seriously injured. Plus, it's the law! 
Find these tips and more on the State Farm® teen driver safety page, and always encourage your teen to make positive choices while driving.

Teen Drivers Reaching for Objects More Likely to Crash

Lisa Rapaport
Phones are not the only distraction behind the wheel. Adolescents who reach for or handle other objects while driving are almost seven times more likely to crash than teens who don’t reach for anything at all.
“Compared to older drivers, teens’ limited driving experience and youthful characteristics may contribute to their higher risk for distraction when engaging in secondary tasks while driving,” said lead study author Pnina Gershon of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
 Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and disability among drivers ages 15 to 20, researchers note in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Teens who use cell phones while driving are almost three times more likely to crash than those who don’t.
Other tasks teens engage in that increased chances for crashing include interacting with passengers, using cell phone, reaching for snacks, drinks or other objects, and looking away from the road too long. Technology may be especially distracting for less experienced teen drivers.
To see more from CDOT's Traffic Safety Pulse Newsletter, click here

April 11, 2019
CONTACT: Madison Forker, 202-580-7930

New Guide Helps States Implement Successful
Peer-to-Peer Initiatives
Identifies elements critical for creating strong, measurable programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Motor vehicles remain the leading cause of death for teens and young adults. Though fatal crashes involving drivers 16-24 years old declined more than 25% over the past decade, much work remains. To help states further this progress, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released the “Peer-to-Peer Teen Traffic Safety Program Guide,” prepared by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

Written for State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs), the guide examines peer-to-peer programs, in which young adults take the lead in identifying a traffic safety problem their school and community and taking action to address it. The programs offer young leaders the opportunity to not only formulate but also implement and evaluate a plan to educate their community about the identified issue.

The full guide can be downloaded at webinar will be held April 25 at 2:00 p.m. EST to elaborate on the report’s recommendations, featuring presentations by experts from peer-focused organizations. 
Register at

“We know that graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs are largely responsible for the recent decline in novice driver fatal crashes, but our work to reach zero doesn’t stop there,” said Jonathan Adkins, GHSA’s Executive Director. “It’s essential that states and communities take a comprehensive approach to this problem; peer-to-peer programs, in conjunction with GDL and other proven strategies, can be effective tools for empowering youth to protect themselves and others on the road.”

Working with an expert panel of researchers, advocates, youth organization leaders and young adults, the following eight success indicators for peer-to-peer programs, were identified and are discussed in detail in the Peer-to-Peer Guide:

  • Youth-led: Youth, not adults, develop, implement and assess the initiative.
  • Inclusive: Initiatives welcome youth from diverse cultures, ethnicities, abilities, genders and economic backgrounds.
  • Sustainable: Adults provide support and resources needed to sustain the initiative.
  • Facilitated training: Both youth and adults receive ongoing training addressing working together to address safety issues.
  • Clearly defined, measurable learning objectives: Youth identify and investigate a problem to determine the way best way to address it.
  • Positive: Positive learning experiences and messaging are used to motivate safe choices.
  • Incentives and recognition: Both are used to motivate youth to participate in the initiative.
  • Evaluation: Success is measured in changes to peers’ behavior, knowledge, attitudes and/or awareness of the issue.

The guide also includes a compendium of youth-led traffic safety programs that incorporate all or many of these success indicators, along with resources to help states plan, implement and evaluate peer-to-peer initiatives. National programs discussed include Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; SADD; Project Ignition; and Step Up! The report also looks at state programs including Teens in the Driver Seat (Texas); the California Friday Night Live Partnership; Seat Belts are For Everyone (Kansas); Strive 4 a Safer Driver (Michigan); ReduceTNCrashes (Tennessee); Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety; and U Got Brains Champion Schools Program (New Jersey).

About GHSA
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit Find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.

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