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Last week Safe Kids Georgia hosted two workshops in partnership with Teens in Driver Seat (TDS), based in Texas. In an effort to reach coordinators across the state, one workshop was held at the Macon Health Department and the other at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta offices.

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Teens in the Driver Seat is an award-winning peer-to-peer program for high school and junior high aged youth. Car crashes kill more young people than any other cause, accounting for nearly half of all teen deaths in America each year. About 2,800 U.S. teens die each year in car crashes; that’s the equivalent of a school bus loaded with teenagers crashing once every week for an entire year.

This year, Safe Kids Georgia and Teens in the Driver Seat plan to introduce or continue this program in at least 60 schools throughout the state of Georgia. With the help of our statewide coalition coordinators, more teens will have access to materials and resources to educate their peers about risk behaviors among young drivers. Teens help shape the program and are responsible for implementing it and educating their peers and parents.

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 and drug use

Most teens and parents are unaware of the driving restrictions imposed on them by the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws. At the core of this initiative is getting teens involved so they can take care, and educate one another.

Teens in the Driver Seat Cup and Outstanding School Contest

The premise is simple. Conduct activities and messaging throughout the year, report them and get points! You can collect points for all sorts of things, from the easy things like posting photos to our social media pages, entering the Driving the Message Contest, and holding team meetings, to bigger activities like participating in community-wide events or applying and being selected for the Teen Advisory Board. Turning in school surveys will get you the most points!

If you don’t win cash, you can still earn Outstanding School status by earning a certain number of points.
Learn more!

If you  or your organization would like to learn more about this partnership, please contact Danna Thompson at dannam.thompson@choa.org or 404-579-0497. It isn’t only schools that are eligible to participate, youth organization can as well.

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