Teen Driving Safety
The American Academy of Pediatrics and The Allstate Foundation joined forces in 2012 to reduce teen driving deaths. As part of the Teen Safe Driving Grant Program sponsored by The Allstate Foundation, IA AAP was awarded $25,000 to develop novel approaches to strengthening graduated driver licensing laws and improving teen driving safety in Iowa.
The Iowa AAP "Safe Driving Moment" Photo Contest
As part of its efforts to reduce teen driving accidents and deaths, Iowa AAP, with support from The Allstate Foundation, sponsored a "Safe Driving Moment" photo contest. The purpose of the contest was to get teens thinking about ways to drive safely and to get them excited about doing so. To participate in the contest, teens downloaded the "Safe Driving Moment" image provided by the Iowa AAP and took a photo demonstrating a safe driving moment, such as buckling up or turning the radio down. They then uploaded their photos to the Iowa's Health and Wellness Connection's (iHAWC) Facebook page. Facebook fans logged on and voted for their favorites. Teens who entered the winning photos will received gift cards.
About the Teen Driving Safety Initiative
The American Academy of Pediatrics released its first policy statement recommending Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws in 1996 in response to the high number of fatalities and injuries among teen drivers. As a result of over 15 years of pediatric advocacy, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have a 3-tiered Graduated Licensing System for teen drivers. These include a learner’s permit, an intermediate or provisional license, and a full-privilege driver’s license. Unfortunately, the strength of these laws varies widely, with some states adopting more stringent provisions than others in specific areas such as the number of required hours of supervised behind-the-wheel training and restrictions on night time driving, teenage passengers, and mobile phone use.
The Safe Teen Driving Program sponsored by The Allstate Foundation awards Chapters the resources to help pediatricians educate community members, families and teens on safe teen driving practices and the importance of stronger GDL laws. Each of the eight participating chapters took a unique approach to raising awareness, educating citizens, and mobilizing support to strengthen existing laws.
The partnership between the American Academy of Pediatrics and The Allstate Foundation came at a critical time. On February 16, 2012, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association released a report detailing the first increase in teen driver deaths in eight years, noting that “… widespread further strengthening of state GDLs is still possible, and compliance with the rules can be improved.”