Teens in the Driver Seat® is a peer-to-peer safety program for America’s youth.
Too many teens are dying.
Car crashes kill more young people than any other cause, accounting for nearly half of all teen deaths in America each year. Over 3,000 U.S. teens die each year in car crashes; that’s the equivalent of a commercial jet loaded with teenagers crashing once every other week for an entire year.
On a per-mile driven basis, teens are eight times more likely than adults to die in a car crash during their first six months of driving. The majority of teen passenger deaths happen when another teenager is driving.
For every American teen killed in a car crash, about 100 more are injured. Every 15 minutes, another teenager becomes a statistic.
Car crashes involving teenage drivers cost our nation about $30 billion every year; the annual cost in Texas is more than $3 billion.
Most people don’t know why.
The most common causes of teen driving crashes are the ones that young drivers (and their parents) know the least about. Combined with a lack of driving experience, the top five dangers are:
- Driving at night
- Speeding and street racing
- Distractions, such as cell phones/texting and too many teen passengers
- Low seat belt use
- Alcohol use
Alcohol is a factor in only 13 percent of the crashes involving the youngest drivers on the road.
Most teens and parents are unaware of the driving restrictions imposed on them by the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws.
Serious crashes are more frequent for teens learning through parent-taught driver education.
Teens are a key part of the solution.
Started in 2002, Teens in the Driver Seat® is the first peer-to-peer program for teens that focuses solely on traffic safety and addresses all major risks for this age group.
Teens help shape the program and are responsible for implementing it and educating their peers and parents; Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) provides the science, guidance and project resources.
Teens in the Driver Seat® is helping make a difference.
Texas has taken great strides in saving teen lives, and Teens in the Driver Seat® is proud to be a key part of the solution. In Texas, the number of teen drivers, age 15 to 17, involved in fatal crashes has dropped nearly 70 percent and is the only state where fatal crashes involving teen drivers has decreased each and every year for well over a decade since the program began
Teens in the Driver Seat® program assessments show risk awareness levels increasing by up to 200 percent. Longitudinal survey data show that cell phone use at Teens in the Driver Seat® program schools has dropped by 30 percent, and seat belt use has gone up by over 14 percent.
A rigorous 20-county control group analysis for Texas indicates the program results in an average decrease of 14.6 percent in injury and fatal crashes (total) where the program has been sustained for 3 or more years.
More than 850 schools now have implemented Teens in the Driver Seat® programs, reaching nearly one million teens.
Teens in the Driver Seat® partners
- Texas Department of Transportation
- State Farm Insurance, Texas Zone
- Georgia Department of Transportation
- California Office of Traffic Safety
- Houston-Galveston Area Council
- El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization
- Nebraska Office of Highway Safety
- Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Learn how to get Teens in the Driver Seat® started at your school>