Teen Driving Safety

The American Academy of Pediatrics and The Allstate Foundation are joining forces in 2012 to reduce teen driving deaths. As part of the Teen Safe Driving Grant Program sponsored by The Allstate Foundation, IA AAP was awarded $25,000 to develop novel approaches to strengthening graduated driver licensing laws and improving teen driving safety in Iowa.

The Iowa AAP “Safe Driving Moment” Photo Contest

As part of its efforts to reduce teen driving accidents and deaths, Iowa AAP, with support from The Allstate Foundation, is sponsoring a “Safe Driving Moment” photo contest. The purpose of the contest is to get teens to start thinking about ways that they can drive safely and get them excited about doing so. To participate in the contest, teens download the “Safe Driving Moment” image provided by the Iowa AAP and take a photo demonstrating a safe driving moment, such as buckling up or turning the radio down. They then upload their photos onto the Iowa’s Health and Wellness Connection’s (iHAWC) Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Iowas-Health-and-Wellness-Connection-for-Teens/638859956147215. Facebook fans can log on and vote for their favorites. The teen who enters the winning photo will receive a $100 Visa gift card while two runners-up will receive $50 Visa gift cards.

Please take a moment to “like” the iHAWC Facebook page and take a look at the Twitter, Pintrest, and Instagram pages as well. You can download your own Safe Driving Moment image to share with teens you may work with. Full contest rules can be found on the contest Facebook page. Your support is helping teens drive safely is greatly appreciated!

About the Teen Driving Safety Initiative

The Academy released its first policy statement recommending Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws in 1996 in response to the high number of fatalities and injuries among teen drivers. As a result of over 15 years of pediatric advocacy, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have a 3-tiered Graduated Licensing System for teen drivers. These include a learner’s permit, an intermediate or provisional license, and a full-privilege driver’s license. Unfortunately, the strength of these laws varies widely, with some states adopting more stringent provisions than others in specific areas such as the number of required hours of supervised behind-the-wheel training and restrictions on night time driving, teenage passengers, and mobile phone use.  Currently no state has a law that meets all the AAP recommendations for teen driving safety.

The Safe Teen Driving Program sponsored by The Allstate Foundation awards Chapters the resources to help pediatricians educate community members, families and teens on safe teen driving practices and the importance of stronger GDL laws. Each of the eight Chapters will take a unique approach to raising awareness, educating citizens, and mobilizing support to strengthen existing laws.

The partnership between the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Allstate Foundation, and NJ auto insurance comes at a critical time. On February 16, 2012, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association released a report detailing the first increase in teen driver deaths in eight years, noting that “… widespread further strengthening of state GDLs is still possible, and compliance with the rules can be improved.” See the full report.

Read AAP articles for parents on teen safe driving @ https://www.healthychildren.org/english/ages-stages/teen/safety/Pages/default.aspx
Read the press release for The Allstate Foundation award to IA AAP
Read the press release for the Des Moines media event

For more information on the Teen Safe Driving Grant Program, contact Hollis Russinof in the AAP Division of State Government Affairs at 800.433.9016, ext 4983. Additional resources can be found at the Blank Children’s Hospital website @ http://www.unitypoint.org/blankchildrens/teen-driving.aspx.