April is just the beginning: Get Involved with National Teen Driver Safety
The first week of April marked the start of California Teen Safe Driving Week and National Distracted Driving Awareness month. The goal of this week -- and this month -- is to to bring public awareness to the #1 killer of teens: reckless and distracted driving. Impact Teen Drivers, a program co-sponsored by CTA, offers a variety of ideas and free resources that can help educators call attention to this public health issue.
Distracted driving is a serious issue. Did you know:
- Automobile crashes are leading cause of death for teens.
- 75% of all fatal teen driving crashes do NOT involve alcohol and drugs, but do involve everyday reckless and distracted driving.
- The teen fatal crash rate is four times that of adults ages 25-69.
- Half of all teens report they have been a passenger while a driver has texted behind the wheel.
- The highest proportion of fatalities caused by distracted driving is drivers under the age of 20.
For a fourth year in a row, Impact Teen Drivers presents the Create Real Impact contest offering students and classrooms a chance for prizes and grants for creatively bringing the message of the dangers of distracted driving to their peers. Educators may want to get their students involved in inspiring others with their creative writing, art, music, or video clips and submitting them as entries in the contest.
Numerous events are occurring in April, including the "Be Thumbody" campaign April 13-20 to raise awareness of distracted driving by encouraging social media participants to change their avatar or their profile photo to a thumb alter ego and pointing their followers to http://www.facebook.com/impactteendrivers.
Other local events include car rodeo events with local high school students behind the wheel navigating a cone-marked course while texting and/or being distracted.
For videos, PSAs, promotional material and other resources, check out Impact Teen Drivers. It’s all aimed at conveying life-saving messages and raising awareness about how teens can be safer drivers. You can also request a presentation at your school or in your community, by contacting Kelly Browning at (916)733-7432.
Impact Teen Drivers was launched in 2008 by CTA, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen and Cal Casualty to share with teens the dangers of reckless and distracted driving through their effective campaigns online and in schools.