Itasca, IL –The National Safety Council today issued a call for stories and reports of teen driver crashes that resulted in serious injuries or fatalities. The HEARTS Network, initiated in part by The Allstate Foundation and implemented by the National Safety Council, is building a community of individuals and families who want to share the stories behind the statistics and bring awareness to this national epidemic.
“Survivor stories will help prevent future crashes, sparing other families from going through the pain and grief of losing a loved one in a motor vehicle crash, the No. 1 cause of death for teens,” said David Teater, senior director of Transportation Initiatives at NSC. “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.”
As part of the HEARTS Network, also known as Honoring Everyone Affected, Rallying The Survivors, participants have the opportunity to speak with community groups, work on teen driving issues in their communities with other traffic safety and community leaders and help get teen safe driving messages out to media. HEARTS participants also can choose to connect with other HEARTS members who have experienced similar tragedies to offer support through difficult times.
“Through the kindness and support of the HEARTS Network, we have been given the opportunity to share our tragic story,” said John Farrace, whose son Anthony was killed in 2007. “We hope to enlighten teen drivers and their parents on the importance of making the right choices to keep themselves and others safe on the road.”
Anthony Farrace was only 17 years old and a passenger in a friend’s car when the teenaged driver lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a tree, killing Anthony. Farrace is now one of more than 60 HEARTS members who share their story with the hope that more teens will be safer on America’s roadways. Farrace has shared Anthony’s story with various audiences, including the National Conference for State Legislators, the National Safety Council New York Teen Driving Forum and the New Jersey Governor’s Teen Drivers Study Commission.
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.
Participants in the HEARTS Network also may serve on traffic safety groups, such as the Teen Safe Driving Coalitions, funded by The Allstate Foundation and overseen by NSC in 10 states – California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
If you’ve been involved in a serious crash involving a teen driver and you’d like to share your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (630) 775-2411. To learn more about the HEARTS Network, visit hearts.nsc.org.
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.AllstateFoundation.org.
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact -- distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety and safety beyond the workplace.