positive behavior of young drivers at the heart of car crash reduction | Texas News


COLLEGE STATION, Texas, 20 October 2021 / PRNewswire / – Driving is the most dangerous activity most of us do. All. Alone. Day. It’s no wonder that fewer and fewer teens are looking to get their driver’s license every year. Even with fewer teenage drivers on the road, 1,603 young drivers died in 2019, the latest figures available. Unfortunately, the total number of road deaths in our country in the same year amounted to 36,096 deaths.

According to the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA), in 2019:

  • 2,042 people were killed in collisions involving a teenage driver;
  • 46 percent of deceased adolescents were not wearing seat belts;
  • 24 percent of young drivers (15-20 years) who died were impaired by drinking and driving; and
  • 258,000 adolescents were treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained in a car accident.

These statistics are astounding. Although motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among adolescents (15-18 years) in United States and overall there is a veil of hope. Since 2009, data shows a drop in the number of teenage driver deaths.

Teens in the Driver Seat® (TDS), developed at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), has been addressing adolescent driver behavior through peer education for 20 years. A recent 2019-2021 survey of over 11,300 teens in TDS schools shows that we are making progress. According to the 2019-2021 TDS Self-Reported Adolescent Behavior Survey, 68% of students reported NOT drunk driving in the past 30 days and 51% of students reported NOT SMS and driving. However, in that same survey, 73% of students think texting while driving is totally unacceptable, but the gap between these numbers shows that they still do. Through this solid research, TDS finds that even though students recognize risky behavior, they need more incentives and positive reasons to change their behavior. The more programs, such as TDS, seek to understand what motivates adolescents to make better choices, the more effective peer-led outreach can be.

The health and safety of our youngest road users is of the utmost importance to groups like Teens in the Driver Seat and General Motors, whose relationship began in 2019. “Together we can help improve these statistics . General Motors believes in programs like Teens in the Driver. Seat® can help make a difference, ”said Hal garling, deputy director of corporate giving at GM. “We envision a future with zero accidents, zero emissions and zero traffic jams, and by supporting successful programs like Teens in the Driver Seat®, coupled with new and innovative technology, GM is working to make this vision a reality.”

With funding from General Motors, TDS is delivering its plug-and-play after-school safety program to interested teams of high school teens in twenty states. The school will receive an educational toolkit with posters, banners, yard signs and other items for campus awareness – all at no fees for schools. Schools will also have access to virtual learning resources for use inside and outside the classroom and are eligible to earn money for their schools when teens conduct education activities and awareness raising.

“Today’s teenage drivers face more distractions while driving – and in the car – now more than ever before. »Explains the founder of TDS Russell henk, Senior Research Engineer and Program Director of TTI’s Youth Transportation Safety Program. “Most teens make the right decisions when they see their peers and parents also making the right decisions and caring enough to speak up. Giving them the best information, encouraging them to share it with their peers, and rewarding responsible behavior, that’s all TDS is. In regards to.”

October 18e – 23rd is National Young Driver Safety Week. There’s no better time to commit to saving lives on our roads.

Schools can claim their free program kit and register at https://www.t-driver.com/signup. Join us today and help us achieve the goal of zero fatalities on our roads.

TDS now accepts high schools in twenty states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • new York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia

About General Motors:

General Motors is a global company focused on promoting an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which will power everything from consumer vehicles to high performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and joint ventures sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling brands. More information about the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, is available at https://www.gm.com.

About Teens in the Driver Seat®:

Launched in 2002, Teens in the Driver Seat is a peer-to-peer safety program that educates teens about the top five dangers of teen driving to help them develop safer driving habits and avoid accidents. TDS is a peer-to-peer road safety program recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With funding from several sponsors, including General Motors, program resources and technical support are available free to schools. | https://t-driver.com

About the Texas A&M Transportation Institute

Recognized as one of the leading higher education affiliated transportation research organizations in the world, TTI’s research and development program has made significant inroads in all facets of the transportation system. TTI research is widely known as excellent value with proven impact of saving lives, time and resources. In the lab and in the classroom, TTI researchers help prepare students for careers in transportation. | https://tti.tamu.edu/


  1. 2019 NHTSA Road Safety Facts, Young Driver Data (June 2021) https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813130
  2. 2019 NHTSA Data on Distracted Driving by Teens (February 2021) https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813078
  3. CDC Teen Driver Fact Sheet


Videos: TDS goes digital (YouTube) https://youtu.be/baabuNE18so

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