Nearly six teen drivers are involved in a fatal car crash every day in the United States. Inexperience combined with driver distraction increases the risk for error, making motor vehicle crashes the leading cause of death for young drivers in the nation. To reduce teen distracted driving, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has partnered with Impact Teen Drivers (ITD) to teach positive habits and behaviors to our most vulnerable drivers through education and enforcement.
Ten percent of all drivers ages 15 to 19 who were involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash, and 100 percent of those crashes were preventable. Based on miles driven, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety discovered that teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. To combat this alarming trend, the message of the ITD program is simple: keep both hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and mind focused on driving.
“Teen drivers are the most at risk of driving distracted. They are more likely than any other demographic to be involved in traffic crashes where distracted driving is a factor,” said CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley. “Sadly, many of these crashes will result in injuries and deaths. We hope to help eliminate these preventable deadly crashes.”
The CHP and ITD will conduct virtual classes at schools and community events throughout California during the pandemic to help change the behavior of teen drivers. The yearlong Teen Distracted Drivers Education and Enforcement X grant provides for an education component as well as enforcement operations to be conducted statewide through Sept. 30, 2021.
“In California we lose the equivalent of eight, large school buses filled with teens each year to car crashes. Impact Teen Drivers, CHP, and the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) partner to offer free in-person and online training for parents and teens. Together, we can stop the number one killer of teens,” said Dr. Kelly Browning, Executive Director of ITD.
For free safe driving resources in English or Spanish, visit www.ImpactTeenDrivers.org.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from OTS through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.