Tragically, seat belt use is lowest among teen drivers. In fact, the majority of teenagers involved in fatal crashes are unbuckled. In 2016, a total of 818 teen (15- to 18-year-old) drivers and 569 passengers died in passenger vehicles driven by teen drivers, and 58 percent of those passengers were NOT wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash. As teens start driving and gradually gain independence, they don’t always make the smartest decisions regarding their safety. They may think they are invincible, that they don’t need seat belts. They may have a false notion that they have the right to choose whether or not to buckle up. Learn more…
Teens in the Driver Seat® is a peer-to-peer safety program for America’s youth.
Teens in the Driver Seat® is an initiative under the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s Youth Transportation Safety (YTS) Program. YTS seeks to save lives and reduce injuries among America’s youth by developing and delivering the nation’s most comprehensive suite of transportation safety programs and projects.
Texas has taken great strides in saving teen lives and Teens in the Driver Seat® is proud to be part of the solution. In Texas, the number of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes has dropped nearly 70 percent and is the only state where fatal crashes involving teen drivers has decreased every year since 2002.
Teens in the Driver Seat® program surveys show awareness levels increasing by up to 200 percent in all risk areas. Cell phone use at Teens in the Driver Seat® program schools has dropped by 30%, and seat belt use has gone up by 14%.
A rigorous 20-county control group analysis for Texas indicates the program results in an average decrease of 14.6 percent in injury and fatal crashes (total) where the program has been sustained for three or more years.
Over 1,300 schools now have implemented the Teens in the Driver Seat® program, reaching over one million teens. The program has also been deployed in 38 states outside Texas.
Because of the positive results shown in numerous studies, TDS has won dozens of awards (including eight national awards) and has been recognized as a national best-practice model four times by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and the National Safety Council.