Teen driver deaths are on the rise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 1,866 teen drivers were killed in 2015, a 9 percent increase from 2014. Based on early 2016 estimates, the upswing will continue. According to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers between ages 16 and 17 are three times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly crash.
There is certainly more that can be done to increase the awareness and practice of safe driving among teens. The Governors Highway Safety Association and Ford Driving Skills for Life (a collaboration between Ford, GHSA and select safety experts) have a plan to do just that.
Recently, these two groups granted $74,000 to State Highway Safety Offices in Georgia, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire and New York to help teen drivers learn safety skills beyond the basics of driver's ed. If you happen to live in one of these states, check with the SHSO to find out how you and/or your teen driver might be able to participate. Programing includes:
- Georgia will host a two-day teen safe driving event in February 2018 with hands-on, interactive driving lessons and creative new ideas for ways to communicate safely with friends.
- Montana will host a traffic safety rally in partnership with Family, Career and Community Leaders of America that will teach students how to develop their own traffic safety projects and serve as a model for additional community rallies and safety campaigns.
- Nebraska will host three teen traffic safety events throughout the state with certified driving instructors and hands-on advanced driving skills training.
- New Hampshire is using the funds to host events at schools throughout the state that focus on the dangers of drug-impaired driving and encourage teens to make smart choices.
- New York will work with high school athletic coaches through the state's Coaches Care program to promote safe driving practices and leadership among student athletes.