For immediate release: June 30, 2011
For more information: Bernie Fette, 979-845-2623
AUSTIN—State Farm has awarded a $100,000 grant to Teens in the Driver Seat®, making the company the largest corporate sponsor of the growing peer-based safety program for young drivers. The funding will go toward supporting the program in Texas.
State Farm made its announcement on the eve of what is typically the deadliest month of the year for teens nationwide. The average number of fatal crashes involving teenagers over the past decade has been highest in July, and that month has surpassed all other months in eight out of ten years from 2000 to 2009, based on crash records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Teenagers face more danger on the roads than any other group, and that danger peaks in July,” said State Farm Public Affairs Manager Sophie Harbert. “This is an ideal time for us to highlight our support of Teens in the Driver Seat® and our overall commitment to roadway safety.”
Started in 2002, Teens in the Driver Seat® is the nation’s first peer-to-peer program focused exclusively on teen driving safety. The program was developed by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), and is designed to capitalize on the profound degree of influence that young people have on each other. Crash trends suggest that the program is having a meaningful impact. Since the program started, the number of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes has dropped more steadily in Texas than in any other state.
Student teams at nearly 500 Texas schools have started Teens in the Driver Seat® programs, reaching more than half a million of their peers with safe driving messages. The schools can request help from TTI staff, but the students are ultimately responsible for developing and delivering the safety messages in ways that resonate best with other students.
“Most young drivers don’t know that they’re many times more likely to die in a crash than people in other age groups,” says Teens in the Driver Seat® Program Director Russell Henk of TTI. “But they need to hear the message from a source they trust; they need to hear it from each other. The support we receive from State Farm will help to ensure that they do.”
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About State Farm®:
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. Our 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts—more than 78 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 37 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.
About the Texas Transportation Institute:
Since 1950, the Texas Transportation Institute has sought solutions to the problems and challenges facing all modes of transportation—surface, air, pipeline, water and rail. A member of The Texas A&M University System, the Institute annually works with nearly 200 sponsors at all levels of government and the private sector. Recognized as one of the finest higher education-affiliated transportation research agencies in the nation, TTI has made research breakthroughs across all facets of modern transportation. Virtually every mile of roadway in Texas has benefitted from TTI research.