Car crashes are a leading cause of injury and death for teens in America – even those who are not driving yet. If you are a Junior High student, you are also at very high risk each time you get into a vehicle, but there are things you should know and things you can do to protect yourself. But don’t stop with knowing the facts and keeping yourself safe – tell your friends too! That’s what the Teens in the Driver Seat Junior High program is all about. We help you learn the facts, and you help spread the message to your family, your school, and your community, because the more we know and act, the safer we will all be!
The TDS program is available to junior high schools in Georgia, Nebraska, Texas, and Washington at no cost. We give you the science, guidance, and project resources to implement a successful program, the rest is up to you to create and sustain an awesome program at your school. Complete our sign-up form to get resources for your school!
- Every other day in the U.S. there has been at least one passenger from the ages of 9 to 12 that dies in a car crash since 2015.¹
- In 2021, an average of 50% of all young passengers (ages 11-14) who died in crashes were not buckled up.¹
- Studies show that junior high teens who said their parents set clear rules, paid attention to where they were going and whom they were with, and did so in a supportive way were twice as likely to wear their seat belts.2
- Safety experts recommend that teens under the age of 13 always ride in the back seat.3
- Research shows that in fatal crashes, restrained children in the front seat are roughly 1.5 times as likely to be fatally injured compared to restrained children in the back seat.4
- The front seat presents two dangers to junior high teens:
- They can be badly hurt or killed if they are too close to the dashboard when the airbag deploys.
- They are more likely to be hurt in a crash because most wrecks involve the front end of the vehicle.
- Teen drivers significantly impact young passengers:
- Teen drivers are 2 times more likely to have children in the front seat than adult drivers.5
- Novice teen drivers are 3 times more likely to have unrestrained child passengers than adult drivers.5
- NHTSA FARS Data
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm, https://injury.research.chop.edu/sites/default/files/documents/9_28_09_release.pdf
- CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/child-passenger-safety/index.html
- Chen IG, Elliott MR, Durbin DR, et al. Teen drivers and the risk of injury to child passengers in motor vehicle crashes. Injury Prevention 2005; 11:12-17. https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/11/1/12
Updated, August 2023