Itasca, IL – This Valentine’s Day, the National Safety Council announces its HEARTS Network – Honoring Everyone Affected, Rallying The Survivors – a groundbreaking initiative that will gather stories of crashes involving teen drivers from around the United States. HEARTS will build a community for individuals and families who can play a critical role in influencing behaviors, changing beliefs and impacting teen driving to make our roads safer and save lives.
Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for teens – but teen drivers are not the only ones dying. In fatal crashes involving teen drivers ages 15 to 17, about two-thirds of the victims are not teen drivers – instead, they are occupants of other vehicles, young passengers, and non-motorists such as pedestrians and bicyclists. More than 5,600 fatal crashes involved teen drivers in 2009 and countless families and friends have been affected.
The National Safety Council is seeking people who want to contribute their stories to the network. As part of HEARTS, participants may simply offer a story, picture or name of someone injured or killed in a teen driving crash – or they may speak to community groups, talk to local media or work on teen driving issues in their communities. Participants also may serve on traffic safety groups, like Teen Safe Driving Coalitions funded by NSC and The Allstate Foundation in 10 states – California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. The Allstate Foundation has also provided funding for the HEARTS Network.
“Personal stories play an important role in getting people to change their behaviors,” said David Teater, senior director of Transportation Initiatives for NSC. “It is our goal to gather stories that we can share to demonstrate that behind the statistics, there are families who are missing their loved ones. Sharing these stories also can be of great benefit to people working through grief or recovering from a serious injury. Trying to make something positive come out of a tragedy can be very helpful to survivors.”
To share your story, e-mail NSC Victim Advocate Charlene Sligting-Doud at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (630) 775-2411.
About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.
About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit www.allstate.com/foundation.