State Highway Safety Association Marks National Teen Driver Safety Week

Oct 18, 2011, 12:08 ET from Governors Highway Safety Association

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Safe teen driving is a top concern for the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). National Teen Driver Safety Week, being held October 16-22, is an excellent time to draw attention this important issue. While teen traffic deaths have been declining, they still remain the number one cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. As the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes, more than 730,000 young drivers ages 15-18 were involved in police-reported crashes in 2009.

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To address this problem and provide resources to parents and teens, GHSA has partnered with Ford Motor Company Fund on its Ford Driving Skills for Life (Ford DSFL) program. More than 40 state highway safety agencies have utilized this program as a strategy to reduce teen crashes and fatalities. 2011 is the most active year in the program's history. Fall activities include:

  • A 30-City Tour, bringing the program to high schools across the Northeast. The Tour was a result of a $1 million commitment from Ford to expand its award-winner teen driving program. Students were able to participate in the high-tech, hands-on trainings at their high schools. School administrators, local law enforcement and state highway safety officials worked with the teens to emphasize safe driving.
  • On October 19, the New York Governor's Traffic Safety Committee is utilizing a $20,000 Ford DSFL grant to educate teens on Long Island about safe driving. Teens will spend the day maneuvering through driving courses, testing their skills on driving simulators and learning other safe driving behavior. This is one of four Ford state grant-funded activities taking place this fall. State highway safety offices in Maine, Massachusetts and Missouri kicked off efforts in September.

GHSA is also continuing its long-standing relationship with State Farm® to promote best practices and strengthen state highway safety programs. Last fall, GHSA issued a new publication: Protecting Teen Drivers: A Guidebook for State Highway Safety Offices. The guidebook provides examples of the best policies and programs to ensure teen driver safety. The new tool was so well-received that a follow-up publication is in development and will be available in the spring.

Finally, GHSA was among the presenters at Monday's National Youth Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by The Allstate Foundation and AT&T, the summit brought together youth leaders from around the country to empower them to take action to fight distracted driving in their communities.

Learn more about teen driving safety at www.ghsa.org/html/issues/youngerdriver.html.

Resources for National Teen Driver Safety Week are available at http://www.teendriversource.org.

SOURCE Governors Highway Safety Association