Friedman Law Offices is excited to announce our new partnership with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and their Teens in the Driver Seat program. Putting an end to distracted driving is something that we’re quite passionate about, and we are beyond honored to have the opportunity to provide support to innovative programs such as this.
Young drivers–ages 15 to 24 years old–account for 27.7 percent of all crashes and 24 percent of all fatal crashes in Nebraska, according to 2017 Nebraska Department of Transportation statistics, making car crashes the leading cause of death for Nebraska teens. The mission of the Teens in the Drivers Seat program is to not only educate teens on safe driving but to change their overall knowledge and behavior when it comes to driving in general – culminating in the continued elimination of teen driver deaths.
The Teens in the Driver Seat program currently supports 31 schools, including junior high, and had added additional schools for the 2018-2019 school year. It is a peer-to-peer education program, focusing on traffic safety and addressing all major driving risks associated with young drivers. Specifically, the five major risks to teen drivers are alcohol, driving at night/fatigue, speeding and racing, distractions, and failure to utilize or properly wear seatbelts. Pre- and post-observations – obtained via surveys taken in 15 of the participating schools – show an increase of seat belt use and a decrease in cell phone usage amongst those students that participated in the Teens in the Driver Seat Program.
Within the participating schools, students work together to create, facilitate, and implement the program – this is done with guidance from DHHS, partnering agencies, and an adult sponsor from the participating school. Once a school is ready to implement their program, they receive technical assistance, essential resource kits and materials, and are eligible for grant opportunities as well.
Participating schools receive a $100 gift card upon completion of the seat belt and/or cell phone use activity; in addition, each school’s committee will receive t-shirts to show their involvement. Thanks to generous funding from the Drive Smart Nebraska Coalition – as well as the other sponsors involved – this program will continue to reach more teen drivers each year!
Not only does this program educate teen drivers on highway safety and save lives, but it has long-term impacts as well. The education, consistent repetition, and experience utilizing safe driving habits every time they get behind the wheel will carry on with them throughout their life. Schools have a lasting impact on each and every student who steps through their doors, making this the perfect time – and place – for the implementation of a program that is both life-changing and life-saving.
To become a participating school in the Teens in the Drivers Seat program, please fill out the Teens in the Driver Seat application or contact Friedman Law Offices so we can take you through the necessary steps on how to implement this life-saving program in your school, too!