Safety Center’s Youth-led Teen Safe Driving Campaign, Youth Take Action to End Distractions, Receives Funding from The Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young Program
Safety Center’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC), comprised of high school students throughout California, continues to raise awareness around teen safe driving issues with the California Teen-to-Teen Safe Driving Campaigns now in its seventh year of funding from The Allstate Foundation.
Distracted driving issues are believed to be under-reported and this dangerous behavior will continue to increase with new in-vehicle technology and the prevalent use of personal electronic devices. This year’s focus is empowering students to create change through advocacy. American Canyon students brought their campaign issues to school administration for changes in the student handbooks regarding safety and participants from Don Pedro high school in La Grange, California implemented a defensive driving class for all staff who will be driving students starting in the 2018 fall term. This action came about with a survey conducted where the need was identified. Sheri Gempler, Don Pedro club advisor for the students said, “Having students a part of something so big is empowering to both the student and the community they represent.”
The Allstate Foundation funding continues to grow Safety Center’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) which is now in its third year. High school students in California use technology to join in meetings learning the core competencies of Social and Emotional Learning skills including educational curriculums and volunteer experiences to increase the capacity of individual members to develop, lead, and participate in youth empowerment projects. Safety Center chooses from the YAC a Junior Board member who sits until graduation from high school, the newest addition has said, “Safety Center’s Youth Advisory Council has given me the leadership experience and business skills necessary to make a real difference in my community and has helped me grow holistically. It is enlightening to see people of all ages benefit from the different events and programs we organize.” -Rhitishah Yuva Raju, 16, Mira Loma High School.
During the 2017/2018 school year, 66 schools entered the Safety Center’s Teen-To-Teen, Teen Safe Driving Campaign contest where 96,743 students heard the message of safe driving issues; up from 75,290 during the 2016/2017 school year. Students heard the message through their peer-led activities, and 7,387 students in elementary and middle schools heard the message from contest participants leading those activities; up from 3,179 students the previous year. Student leaders rallied their peers to get the message of teen safe driving issues out not only to their schools, but to adults and their communities as well, reminding everyone involved that this is not just a teen issue. All drivers need to be aware of distractions and what changes can be made to save lives.
Although the trend for highway fatalities are down for the second consecutive year; distracted driving still reaches epidemic proportions in the US and the goal of this project is to empower youth to launch a movement where they are taking action to prevent pedestrian, bicyclist, passenger and driver distractions. In 2017, 37,133 people died in motor vehicle crashes, a decrease of almost 2 percent from 2016. (NHTSA) During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Young people use electronic devices more frequently than other age groups and ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash (NHTSA). The focus of this project is to make use of technology and other distractions socially unacceptable when driving motor vehicles. Perceptions about traffic safety are developed by observing the driving behavior of parents, peers and their communities. Using the strong influence of youth to reinforce lessons about focusing attention on the roadway will help to build a foundation of lifelong safe driving skills, attitudes, and behavior.
For More Information, Contact: Gail Kelly, Safety Center Incorporated at 916-438-3381 or email@example.com, www.safetycenter.org
About Safety Center
Safety Center Incorporated is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1934 whose mission is to reduce injuries and save lives by empowering our community to make positive life changing decisions. For more information, visit www.safetycenter.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 building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, empowering youth and celebrating the charitable community involvement of Allstate agency owners and employees, The Allstate Foundation works to bring out the good in people’s lives. For more information, visit www.AllstateFoundation.org
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