Safe Kids USA and General Motors Foundation Sponsor New Nationwide Program
Safe Passenger Program For Teens Helps Make Them Safer With Teen Drivers
WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A parent-teen passenger agreement is a key component of a new nationwide education program, Countdown2Drive, targeted for young teens, ages 13 and 14. Safe Kids USA and the General Motors Foundation are launching the web-based program to bring parents and young teens together to talk about the key safety issues teens will face when riding as passengers or as they prepare to drive.
At age 13 and 14, a teen's risk of dying while riding with a teenage driver is double what it was when they were younger, and it continues to rise each year. The Countdown2Drive program aims to reduce this risk by helping young teens lay the groundwork for becoming safe passengers today and good drivers later.
Safe Kids coalitions and chapters across the country are introducing the Countdown2Drive program to parents and teens in local Countdown2Drive Rallies that walk families through the steps of creating a Passenger Agreement.
The parent-teen Passenger Agreement, which is accessible at Countdown2Drive.org, focuses on the teen's immediate safety as a passenger in a motor vehicle and in the future as a driver. Parents will be encouraged to discuss key behaviors that are non-negotiable for their teens as safe passengers – such as always wearing a seat belt, reducing driver distraction (texting, cell phone use, other passengers in the vehicle), and never riding with a driver who has been drinking or taking drugs.
Parents and their teen will discuss why the family's rules are important to follow, and they will write the agreement which will help to remind and reinforce the rules, rewards, and the consequences.
"With motor vehicle crashes the number one killer of teens, it's critical that parents take an active role in educating and openly discussing with their teens passenger and driver safety," said John Formisano, president and CEO, Safe Kids Worldwide. "Parents have the greatest influence over their teen's behavior and starting discussions early could help save their teen's life."
To find out more about the Countdown2Drive program or to find the nearest Rally, parents can contact their local Safe Kids Coalition or visit http://www.safekids.org/in-your-area/coalitions.
About Safe Kids USA
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14. More than 600 coalitions and chapters across the U.S. and nineteen member countries across the globe bring together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families. For more information visit www.safekids.org
About General Motors Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions to deserving American charities and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. For more information, visit www.gm.com/corporate/responsibility/community.
SOURCE Safe Kids Worldwide