You’ve ordered the Teens in the Driver Seat® promo items, downloaded the posters and have your team excited and ready to go. Now what? Now it’s time to make your school safer and help save your friend’s lives through strong and consistent messages and activities.
Why an active Teens in the Driver Seat® program is important
We’ve found that when schools have an active Teens in the Driver Seat® program, there is a 14.6% average crash reduction and teens report safer driving habits. For instance, in schools that regularly hold program activities, students report the following:
- 79% of high school students said they either rarely or never talked on a cell phone while driving
- 75% of high school students said they either rarely or never text messaged (read or sent) while driving
- 91% of high school students said they have never driven without a seatbelt
- 77% of high school students said they have not driven 10mph or more over the posted speed limit
- 93% of high school students said they have not driven after drinking alcohol
- 65% of high school students said they either rarely or never drove after 10pm without anyone over the age of 21 in the vehicle
The great thing about these numbers is the higher they are, the more they work in changing behaviors. They are also a great way to let your peers know safe behavior is followed and expected. For instance, posters and messages letting peers know that 91% of students wear their seat belts tells them it’s the cool thing to do.
Planning your year
The first step in your planning should be completing and returning the pre-project surveys. Getting these completed by many students from all age groups work best. When you receive your survey report back (upon request), you’ll have an idea of the driving culture within the school. Do the teens at your school text and drive? Do they speed and drive at night a lot? Take a look at your data and develop a plan to address the most dangerous habits of classmates at your school.
Also, while you are planning your year, keep the following in mind to help your messages stick:
- Messages seen regularly work best. Hold activities, hang posters, hand out promo items and keep reminding peers to stay safe
- Use interactive demonstrations, such as a skit, small group discussion. Behaviors change through experience and discussion
- Role play to build skills to resist peer pressure. Hold peers accountable for bad habits and behavior
- Tell peers why they should care and practice safe driving
- Engage parents and community leaders by involving them in activities. Make Teens in the Driver Seat a community effort
Finally, at the end of each year, complete and return post-program surveys, again using a large group of students of all ages. Once you receive your assessment report, you’ll see how your efforts made an impact and can make plans for the next year.
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