Car crashes are the #1 killer of teens in America, and for every American teen killed in a car crash, approximately 100 more are injured.
You are the solution!
Car crashes are the number one killer of teens in America – and it’s not just the teens who are driving. You are also at a 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 Teens in the Driver Seat Junior High 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!
- 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 2010¹.
- In 2017, over half of all young passengers who died in crashes were not buckled up¹.
- Studies show that junior high teens are almost 2 times more likely to wear seat belts when adults in the car are also wearing them.
- Safety experts recommend that teens under the age of 13 always ride in the back seat.
- Research shows that children involved in car crashes are 28% more likely to be injured in a front seat than if they had been sitting in the back.
- 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.
- Novice teen drivers are 3 times more likely to have unrestrained child passengers than adult drivers.
- Young teens riding with drivers aged 16 to 19 are 3 times more likely to die in a crash than if riding with a driver age 20 and older.
The program is available to junior high schools in Texas and Georgia at no cost to the school. 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.
- You can help reduce the risk of injury and death among your friends when you speak up
- You have a voice and your friends listen to you
- You can learn life skills of effective communication and leadership
- You can connect to friends, your school, and your community
- Peer helpers have more credibility and a better understanding of teen concerns and pressures
- You can learn to be an effective role model
How you get started
Step 1) Pick the team:
- Pick your Teens in the Driver Seat® team. There should be 10 to 12 leaders, which will be your Teens in the Driver Seat® team. They will be responsible for spreading the safety messages and coordinating and holding activities. The team leaders can be an existing school group, such as Student Council, or form a new group. Anyone can be a part of Teens in the Driver Seat® and it’s a great community service project.
- Find a teacher and/or school leader who wants to sponsor the Teens in the Driver Seat® program. The sponsor serves as faculty support, keeps in contact with us, collects and returns safe driving questionnaires once a year, and will be our main contact. They can also help you get started.
- Contact Us when you have your team and sponsor and are ready to start your program. You’ll be placed in touch with your Regional Representative who will help guide you through the next steps.
Step 2) Order your start-up kit and find out what your friends know:
- Order your free educational items. They can be used to remind the students at your school about safe driving. Educational items and resource materials may be reordered each school year!
- You’ll also receive a handy calendar full of activity ideas, a “how to get started” guide, a DVD with lots of resources and a survey with instructions.
- Ask your teacher/sponsor to administer the survey (from the welcome folder) by following the instructions provided and return them to us.
- We’ll keep a record of the surveys, then we can evaluate the impact your team is making in your community and make the program better.
Step 3) Spread the word and win some prizes:
- Use the activity calendar (provided in the welcome folder) and plan out activities for the entire year. You can also look at the online activity ideas and see what other schools are doing on our Facebook
- Make sure to let us know what you are doing by completing an activity form and posting all your pics on our Facebook page or tagging us on Instagram or Twitter with @TeensDriverSeat.
- TDS holds contests throughout the year and your school can win cash and prizes. Take a look at Events & Contests to learn more.
Step 4) Keep the program going:
- Plan activities for the entire school year.
- Hold regular meetings with your sponsor and team.
- Stay on the lookout for monthly newsletters that are full of activity ideas, resources and current contests. The email will go to your teacher/sponsor. If team members would also like to receive the newsletter, let your Regional Representative
- At the end of the school year, recruit new team leaders and plan for the next year.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 2017. Fatality Facts 2017: Children. Retrieved from