Georgia Among States Awarded New Grant for Teen Safe Driving

Posted on Jun 07, 2017

Five states recently received a total of $74,000 to support teen safe driving activities. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and Ford Driving Skills For Life (Ford DSFL) gave the money to the State Highway Safety Offices in Georgia, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and New York.

What will Georgia do with the money?

In February 2018, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety will host a teen safe driving event. The two-day event, which coincides with Georgia's Youth and Young Adult Leadership Conference, will feature hands-on, interactive, safe driving lessons. The students will also receive instruction on new techniques for discussing safety topics with other youth. The organizers anticipate at least 150 students will participate.

Why does this grant target young drivers?

A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that new teen drivers aged 16 to 17 are three times more likely than adults to be involved in a fatal car accident. The study analyzed accident rates for every mile driven.

Historically, teen driver crashes and fatalities skyrocket during the summer months. Teen drivers are on the road more during the summer because they are out of school. When inexperienced young drivers are on the road logging more miles than during the school year, the combination can be lethal.

Even outside the summer months, teen driver fatalities have increased in recent years. GHSA and Ford DSFL are trying to turn these numbers around to protect both teen drivers and other people on the road. The goal is to decrease the number of teen driver fatalities by providing hands-on safe driver training, increasing teen awareness of dangerous driving habits, and getting teens to communicate with each other about safe driving issues.

Are these monetary awards from the GHSA and Ford DSFL new?

No, the GHSA and Ford DSFL have been working together to promote safe driving skills worldwide since 2003. They have trained more than one million people across the world in safe driving skills. Ford offers its DSFL program in 34 countries. It has also conducted hands-on driving clinics in all 50 states.

What causes teen driver car accidents?

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found three main factors in fatal crashes with teen drivers:

  1. Distracted driving was present in nearly 60 percent of teen car crashes. Using cell phones and talking with passengers in the vehicle are the two top distractions for teen drivers.
  2. Sixty percent of teen drivers killed in car accidents in 2015 were not wearing a seat belt.
  3. Almost 30 percent of fatal crashes with teen drivers involve speeding.

To keep your teens safe on the road, make sure they avoid the behaviors above and check out these tips for teen driver safety and learn more about how smartphone addiction is making the roads a dangerous place for teens and other road users.

You can also have your teen sign a driving agreement that promises he will remain safe behind the wheel or face the consequences.

To stay in the loop on anything that might affect you or your teen, check out our news blog.