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Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award


Teen Driving Safety Leadership Awards

NSC is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Teen Driving Safety Leadership Awards:


Beth Schuerman, Project Director, Alaska Injury Prevention Center
The Alaska Injury Prevention Center is a nonprofit organization with a goal of preventing injuries in Alaska. The AIPC uses data obtained through analyzing the epidemiology of a type of injury or cause of death to effectively accomplish its mission. Led by Project Director Beth Schuerman, the AIPC used two programs, Teen Buckle Up and Raise Your Voice, to reduce the numbers of car crashes involving teens who were either impaired or not wearing seat belts.
Data show the programs’ impact. Teen seatbelt use in Anchorage increased 26 percent since the Teen Buckle Up program began in 2006. The number of teens hospitalized because of car crashes in Anchorage who were not wearing seat belts decreased from 16 in 2002 to three in 2011. The number of teens hospitalized due to car crash injuries in Anchorage who had been drinking alcohol decreased from 47 in 2001 to 17 in 2011.
Beth Schuerman personally developed relationships with top leadership at the Anchorage School District to help implement these programs. Program facilitators continue to enlist Beth’s assistance because the programs are proven to help keep teens safe.
Impact Teen Drivers
Impact Teen Drivers is a nonprofit organization in Sacramento, Cali., but whose reach extends nationwide and into Canada. The organization’s message is simple: Focus on the road ahead and get to where you are going safely. Impact and its numerous partners deliver more than 250 presentations about the dangers of reckless and distracted driving to more than 300,000 high school, middle school and elementary school students. Impact presenters also host train-the-trainer workshops across the U.S. in an effort to implement the program in other states. Impact engages students through its What Do You Consider Lethal? campaign and sends student advocates to present at national and regional workshops. Impact engages parents through parent-teen workshops and works with families and individuals who have lost loved ones in crashes involving teen drivers.
An evaluation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found the What Do You Consider Lethal? program effectively increased the rate of seat belt use among teen drivers to greater than 96 percent. The program decreased the rate at which teen drivers talked to or were distracted by teen passengers – from 22.4 percent to 9 percent. Passenger presence in the vehicle decreased by nearly 8 percent. Teens also reported a 10 percent decrease in comfort level when riding with a driver who is texting.  The rate at which teen drivers engaged in distracting behaviors decreased by up to 7.7 percent.
A survey among teens who went through the What Do You Consider Lethal? program found 100 percent of the students said they will change their driving behaviors. National traffic safety research institutions such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also are conducting studies on the effectiveness of Impact.
Traffic Safe Communities Network of Santa Clara County, California
Traffic Safe Communities Network is a community collaborative comprised of more than 70 traffic safety stakeholders and guided by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. Under the leadership of the County’s Health Officer, Dr. Martin Fenstersheib, and County Supervisor Mike Wasserman, TSCN strives to prevent and control traffic-related fatalities and injuries as well as save healthcare and property costs through research-based best practice approaches. A sub-committee of TSCN called the Alcohol and Impaired Driving Prevention Workgroup was created with the specific goal of decreasing crashes, injuries and fatalities related to underage drinking and driving. The workgroup expanded its teen driver safety projects to include seat belt compliance, distracted driving and general traffic safety education.
TSCN reviews data from the California Office of Traffic Safety and the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), overseen by the California Highway Patrol. The SWITRS data from 2002 to 2011 showed the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities involving drinking drivers younger than 21 decreased from 147 to 111 crashes, from eight victims to four victims, and from 136 injuries to 115. Santa Clara County also ranks consistently in the top 15 percent of counties with the fewest injuries and fatalities involving drivers younger than 21 who have been drinking.

Past winners:

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, health and safety groups as well as insurance companies and agents working together to make America's roads safer. The organization encourages the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that save lives and reduce injuries. It played a critical role in the June passage of a federal surface transportation authorization bill called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (P.L. 112-141). The Act includes incentives for states that meet minimum federal standards for Graduated Driver Licensing. All safety provisions were originally included in the Senate-passed version of the bill, but Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety helped ensure many of the provisions were retained in the final version.

ADEPT Driver

ADEPT Driver developed the program teenSMART to help educate teens on the importance of safe driving. The teenSMART program brings parents and teens together in a structured practice program of computer simulations and behind the wheel practice of the specific driving challenges that contribute to the most teen crashes. Teens need driving experience to become safe drivers and parents must understand how to best help their teens practice. The teenSMART program provides some of that necessary experience and understanding in a manner proven to reduce teen crashes.

American Family Insurance

Through its “Teen Safe Driver Program,” the company has provided, free to its insured families, a video feedback program (using the DriveCam system) in which parents can watch the actual driving actions of their teens. The program was validated by scientists at the University of Iowa to produce a 70% reduction in risky driving behavior.

Harry D. Jacobs High School

The Jacobs Safety Initiative includes several school and community projects that raised awareness of driving issues for junior high and high school students. Among the measurable results of the program was an increase in safety belt use among teens in the community, from 70% to 97% in three years.

National Organizations for Youth Safety

NOYS has reached more than 220,000 youth and more than 6,000 schools, with web-based educational resources for teens and parents. NOYS advocates proven strategies that save lives, such as Graduated Driver Licensing laws. NOYS uses teens to influence their peers on issues such as underage drinking, safety belt use and distracted driving.

Teens in the Driver Seat

A program of the Texas Transportation Institute, the TDS peer-to-peer safety program for young drivers has reached more than 400,000 people in 350 schools across Texas. The program has achieved measurable behavior changes and crash reductions. TDS also advocated for improved Graduated Driver Licensing laws in Texas, which were enacted in 2009.

About the award 
Each year, NSC accepts nominations for its prestigious Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to reducing the number of crashes, injuries and deaths involving teen drivers.
Nominations for the 2014 award will be accepted in the spring. If you have questions, please email

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NSC would like to thank the GM Foundation for sponsoring the Teen Driving Safety Leadership Awards program.


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