Teen Driving

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Wango Tango 2014

Wango Tango—an annual day-long concert produced on by local Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM—began as any other day. Just as we always would on a community event day, we awoke early to allow extra time at the event with plenty of time to get there safely. There was plenty of time to arrange our booth just so, proudly displaying our prize wheel next to our prized materials.

 An hour later and the steady activity of setup was supplanted by a swarming mass of feverish fans. People lined up to spin the wheel and good-naturedly leaned in close so we could explain our What Do You Consider Lethal? Program over the loud music and MCing. Even violating the conventions of personal space (under normal circumstances, social graces dictate at least a foot or two), we were all eventually hoarse by day’s end.

 Attendees’ responses to our program were thoroughly cheering— eyes lit up, some asked questions, and almost everyone nodded vigorously. After all, the issue of driving safety is one that truly affects everyone. Everyone has a driving-related concern, a story, or a hope—for a child, a parent, a friend, or simply the sea of strangers with whom they share the road. The Community cares, and events like these allow for a stunning symbiosis.

 We owe thanks to our incredible materials for drawing people in. With everything evidence-based, teen-tested and teen-approved, it was no wonder that our booth was swarmed. People were eager to win a tee-shirt or a poster even before they learned the socially conscious message embedded in the appealing graphics. Once they learned of our program, their eagerness turned to 100% excitement. It was sad when the shirts ran out, but we reminded people that all our resources could be purchased at cost online.

 We stayed through the concert, and hooted and hollered when our Extreme Slacklining PSA played on the big screen in front of approximately 20,000 concert-goers. http://www.impactteendrivers.org/resources/videos/psa/extreme-slacklining-psa

It was equally exciting to see our tag, “What Do You Consider Lethal?” running along the bottom of the jumbotron while such big acts as Christina Aguilera and Maroon 5 played.



New Jersey and the GDL Decal

Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL, http://impactteendrivers.org/blog/get-down-law) has proven effective in reducing teen car crashes across the United States by up to 50% (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). GDL is comprised of various components or provisions, all of which serve the purpose of saving lives. The more we evolve our GDL and strengthen these provisions, the more lives we will save.

In May 2010, New Jersey became the first state to take the innovative step of requiring 16-20 year old drivers to post a reflective decal on the front and back license plates of their vehicles while they are in the learner’s permit/intermediate phases of the Graduated Drivers Licensing. The decal facilitates police enforcement of GDL restrictions and encourages young drivers to make good decisions in accordance with the law. New research has been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that supports its effectiveness in reducing teen crashes.

A study conducted by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)shows a sustained two-year decline in crash rates among intermediate drivers. CHOP researchers found that in the first two years after the new decal requirement took place, the overall crash rate for young intermediate drivers declined 9.5 percent compared to the previous four years. The rate of single-vehicle crashes involving 18-year olds decreased 13 percent per year and nearly 17 percent for 19-year-olds.

"Decal provisions now have the support of science. The provision may encourage safer driving behaviors, both among teens and other drivers sharing the road with them," says lead author Allison Curry, PhD, MPH, director of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP.  "There is definitely more we need to learn, in particular with respect to the specific mechanisms by which the decals reduced crashes. The end result, however, is that many fewer teens crashed."


 At Impact Teen Drivers, we believe that the union between education and enforcement is essential in achieving our goal of stopping the number one killer of teens in America. Together, we can help prevent these teen crashes by continuing to follow, enforce, educate about and support GDL.

Parents, remember you need to be at the forefront of your teen’s driving experience, enforcing GDL and always role modeling good behavior. Check out our library of “GDL Made Simple Videos,” that explain different states’ GDL in a straightforward and engaging manner: http://impactteendrivers.org/resources/videos/gdl