The idea for Impact Teen Drivers was conceived by Jon Hamm, CEO for the California Association of Highway Patrolmen (CAHP), in response to the high frequency of crashes involving teens to which California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers respond.
CHP officers consistently report the worst part of their job is coming onto a scene where a young person has needlessly lost his or her life and subsequently having to ring a doorbell to tell parents that they will never again see their child alive.
The devastating impact of these fatal crashes on the teens involved, their families, communities, and the law enforcement officers who are first responders, motivated the CAHP to work with one of its long-time partners, California Casualty, and the California Teachers Association (CTA) to create a powerful intervention designed to alter these grim statistics.
In mid-2007, these three organizations formed a unique partnership to create the 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that is now known as Impact Teen Drivers. Impact Teen Drivers was organized for the purpose of providing awareness and education to teenagers, their parents, and community members about all facets of responsible driving, with the goal of reducing the number of injuries and deaths suffered by teen drivers as a result of distracted driving and poor decision making.
Since its creation, Impact has been actively planning, developing, and delivering awareness and educational materials on teen safe driving and the dangers of distracted driving to all public California high schools.
During the first two campaigns (May 2008 & March 2009) free classroom materials (posters, DVDs, stickers, statistics, etc.) and t-shirts were sent to every public high school in California, reaching over 1 million CA high school students.
The Impact Teen Drivers program received such positive response from teens, educators, law enforcement, parents, and community members that during the 2009/10 school year the program expanded into 27 states.
Because we believe that peer-led projects help motivate teens to make smart choices that save lives, in Fall 2009 Impact Teen Drivers announced the Create Real IMPACT contest.
The Create Real IMPACT contest challenges teens to creatively represent the teen safe driving message through multiple formats (e.g., video, music/song, artwork, essay, speech). Judging for the projects is done online so that teens and community members are driven to our website to vote for their favorite project and learn more about teen safe driving.